LEAVITTSBURG - Don't let the million dollar smile fool you, LaBrae volleyball coach Alyse Consiglio has a slightly evil side.
However, her Vikings found out that it's much more encouraging and inspiring than it is dreadful.
"There was a little bit of physical punishment - they ran 2 miles for the way we played last night before this game," she said after LaBrae faced Champion on Tuesday. "The girls came in early, they ran 2 miles, we fed them after, then we played our match."
The Vikings beat the Golden Flashes 25-12, 25-3, 25-5 and they did handle Lordstown in three sets on Monday. But Consiglio wasn't pleased, and neither were the girls. They could do better and it showed in dominating fashion a day later.
"We did not have a good game," she said. "There was no communication. We made a lot of errors and we have a long week this week. This win was good because we've been up and down all season."
LaBrae improved to 8-7 overall. Maybe that 2-mile run will become a regular pre-match ritual.
"It definitely helped us focus because we needed that to get us motivated," said senior Somer McCoy. "We weren't that tired, surprisingly, so it was OK."
The turning point for this team was tiring, though. On Sept. 16 at home against Pymatuning Valley, the Vikings won in five sets. The second game, the Lakers won 35-33.
"It was the longest set I've ever played in or seen," Consiglio said. "It was heart-breaking to lose that set."
Added McCoy, "It was intense. We came out the next match to bring it all together and just finish it off."
McCoy, a senior, tallied a triple double that night with 12 points, 22 kills and 25 digs. She's the team leader in those categories, too.
"She has that killer instinct that you love to see in a kid," Consiglio said.
Fellow senior Paige Losey set a school record against PV with 54 assists.
"That's one that will stay for a while," Consiglio said. "Paige ended up staying in and setting the whole match. She never came out once. We had long games, she just got the ball and there were a lot of points to be had."
Losey and McCoy consistently put up high tallies, but there's still points, blocks, kills and digs to go around.
"It's a team effort," Consiglio said. "You look at our stats and there's all different names in there."
On Tuesday, Amber Davidson had 17 points, Morgan Meyer landed four aces, Sydney Wells had 12 assists, Marilyn Horton had 11 kills, Ashley Gregory had 10 kills and Miranda Dodrill had a block.
The Vikings look to keep the momentum going on Thursday against Liberty (13-2).
"I'm hoping so after that 2-mile run," McCoy said. "I think it will get in everyone's head to come out with some wins for the rest of the season."
That'll keep Consiglio smiling, for sure.