With a post-game cupcake still in her hand and her team on a hot streak, it's not surprising that Belmont High School Girls' Volleyball Head Coach Jen Couture would have a big smile at the end of another victory.
In one of the best starts to a season in the school's history, the Marauders dispatched Woburn High School, 3-0 (25-10, 25-21, 25-14), this past Friday, Sept. 27 at Wenner Field House, their fourth win in the past five matches.
"This year [the coaches] are preparing [the players] mentally each game with the thought that we don't know what [our opponents] can do on the court. So we told them they have to be strong at the beginning because they shouldn't have any expectations coming into the game," said Couture.
The win placed Belmont (5-3) at the top of the Middlesex League Liberty Division with Lexington High with five wins and a single lost.
So far into the season, the team is exceeding Couture's expectations in that they are beating teams they should be winning against – including a tough 3-1 victory against Arlington this past Wednesday, Sept. 25 – and playing nearly equal with the three teams they lost to.
"They have always been really strong players, but this year they are getting more results. They have been focusing more for the games, they are more mentally tough. If they loss a couple of points, they are able to forget about it and come back," said Couture.
"Their goal each year is to make it to [the MIAA state tournament] and this year is the first that I am confident that they will," said Couture.
"This team is very competitive and very driven," she said.
And they will need to show that maturity as they face three tough matches this week, away against non-league Wayland (which they lost to earlier in the season in an exciting five-set match that ended 15-13), Wednesday at home vs. co-league leaders Lexington and Friday away at Winchester which is right behind Belmont in the standings.