ST. JOHN’S — Krista Hogan wanted to bring her game to the next level in her second season on the hardcourt with the MUN Sea-Hawks.
She believes she has done so through a continuos effort on improving her game with a year-round commitment to a sport she loves dearly.
“Every aspect of my game has improved,” Hogan said Thursday from St. John’s.
Hogan said this year’s edition of the team, which boasts a number of rookies with something different to offer, appear to be on the same page when it comes to their level of commitment. Being the best player they can be is a common goal for the girls, according to Hogan, who said the depth of the team is impressive with so many players capable of eating up minutes on the floor.
“To stay on the team you have to improve,” said Hogan, who is the 19-year-old daughter of John and Brodie Hogan of Stephenville.
Her rookie season was a memorable one as the Sea-Hawks captured a playoff berth in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) for the first time in five years. The Sea-Hawks were eliminated in the semifinal round at the 2012 AUS women’s volleyball championship after a gutsy five-set loss to the Dalhousie University Tigers. The Tigers lost to the Saint Mary’s Huskies 3-1 in the AUS final. It was the fifth AUS banner in the past 10 seasons for the Huskies.
Last year’s effort is viewed as a sign of good things to come and certainly something to build on moving forward, according to Hogan.
“It kind of gives us more confidence coming in this year realizing we can do it,” she said.
Getting a sniff of success last year was a positive sign on a season that didn’t start very well with the Sea-Hawks experiencing a number of losing slides early in the year. It was only after the Christmas break last winter that the team started to notch some Ws and peak for the playoff drive.
No doubt, Hogan believes every team wants to start the season on a strong note and she hopes that’s the case for the team this year. She doesn’t want the team to struggle as much as the girls did in the early going last season.
“It’s always a plus to get some wins at the beginning of the season,” she said.
The Sea-Hawks have travelled to Montreal and Halifax for exhibition tournaments to get the squad ready for another hectic AUS season and Hogan was pleased with how the team performed on the floor. More importantly, she was happy to see the group mesh together and get a sense of what role they will play with the team while bonding on the road.
All of the fun and anxious moments that come with being a rookie are nothing but a memory now, Hogan admits she is much more comfortable playing now and has a better understanding of what her place with the team involves, but she has a better handle on her emotions with one year under her belt.
“Almost every game you go into, no matter how many times you play a team, you still have those nerves. You need them, but you don’t want too many,” she said.
“I’m more comfortable playing now,” she said, noting it will be emotional year with the Sea-Hawks hosting the AUS championships at the end of the season.
She expects there will be healthy competition among the group because so many players have the skillset to be on the floor, but she also knows there will be extra motivation this year, particularly for returning girls who struggle with the loss of the Sea-Hawks former captain Erin Bursey, who was killed in a tragic pedestrian/vehicle accident earlier this year in St. John’s.
“We’re using it as something to push us forward because we know she would be pushing us,” she said.“We all know what we are working for.”