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Attitude Adjustment for Milford Volleyball

First-year Milford girls volleyball head coach Jay Guinan wants to see his team learn to hate one thing, losing. The Scarlet Hawks dropped their first two matches of the season, losing 3-1 to Mansfield and 3-0 against King Phillip. After that Guinan said it was time for some "soul searching."
"There is a culture we have to change in regards to their mental toughness," he said. "They need the confidence that we can beat any team at any time. There is no excuse, they need to become unhappy with losing."
Guinan said he did not see that unhappiness after Milford's first two matches, but the response since then has been tangible. The Scarlet Hawks dominated in road victories over Attleboro, a straight set win, and Sharon, a four set win. MHS made a strong statement from the get-go in the first game, beating Attleboro 25-6 in the opening set.
"Hating to lose is going to be part of our culture," Guinan said. "We will keep pushing them in that direction."
Overall, the head coach says he has been pleased with the progress. "We are still fighting the battle of mental toughness and unforced errors," he said. "Physically, I know we can beat good teams. But, at times, we have not maintained our edge mentally."
Senior co-captain Jill Powers has become the squad's top attacker, and is leading the team in kills. Guinan said both her hitting percentage and kill percentage have been solid, and she has racked up 26 kills over the first four matches. Sophomore Kelley Reichert has connected on kills in 44 percent of her attacks and leads a strong sophomore class. 
"The beauty is our sophomore class is extremely talented," Guinan said. "Our seniors are being tested on a daily basis. That's raised the whole level of the varsity program and at the end, it's just going to help us out."
Senior Aleye Momudu has been an "emerging" player for Guinan. "She has never played in a starting role, but she is starting as a middle hitter this year and it's really fun to watch," he said. "She out jumps everyone shoe goes up against and her attack is getting very solid...she will be one of our stronger players down the stretch."
Juniors Lauren Zouranjian and Allie Collins have split time at setter, but Guinan says Zouranjian is starting to win the job. "She is doing well," Guinan said. "She has 53 assists so far and a strong performance through four matches."
Sophomore Kyra Alves and senior Samantha Branch have also played significant roles as defensive specialists. The Scarlet Hawks have several home matches coming up, including Canton on Monday
"I was really impressed with the crowd at our home opener," Guinan said. "I am looking forward to the home matches."




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