The principal of a self-fulfilling prophecy is a belief that something comes true because one believes it’s already true.
Or as Delaware Hayes volleyball coach Raynard Martin put it, “fake it until you make it.”
Senior Isis Price believed the simple action of being energetic – even if it’s not true energy – would eventually become the real thing.
“We have to keep telling ourselves, ‘more energy, more energy’ – even if we have to fake it for a few points – that builds up the momentum … it builds up actual energy,” she said. “That’s how we got it back.”
So, when the Pacers were down four points in the third set – their largest deficit of the game – Price brought the energy.
Hayes reeled off three points. More energy, more points. And the self-fulfilling prophecy took form in a 6-0 rally to put the finishing touches on a 25-17, 25-16, 25-19 Pacer victory over visiting Olentangy Berlin to wrap up OCC-Cardinal action and the regular season.
“It’s at that point in the season where things are slow and flat,” Price said. “So, we had a talk with our coach about how we need energy all of the time – even if we have to fake it. That’s how it builds and that’s how we get momentum.”
Hayes needed the positive mindset after losing its previous two games. The energy wasn’t quite there, Martin said.
“The energy has been a little down in some of our games and practices,” he said. “But, they were coachable. They took that and, as a result, good things started happening.”
Sydney Krewson had nine kills and Price and Becca Rocassin added six apiece for Hayes.
“(Isis) and Syd hit over .500 tonight,” Martin said. “We had a little conversation with Isis before the night started about some timing things and it looked like her vertical increased by like two inches just because of some timing. She was coachable, she listened and did it right away.”
The Pacers used a 6-0 run to gain control and scored eight of nine later in the first set to put it out of reach.
“We had a good block up (front) all night,” Martin said. “Because of that, the back-row defense was able to adjust and turn good defense into quick offense. It was really, really nice to see all of those things come together.”
It took a little longer in the second set, but a 7-0 run got the Pacers to match point before Kaiden Murphy’s kill sealed it.
The Pacers (14-8, 8-6) served up 10 aces led by McKayla Gill, Maisy Johnson and Anna Johnson with three apiece. Anna Johnson also led with 14 assists and 11 digs.
Berlin got a solid effort out of Heather Higgins, who tied Ella Showalter with four kills. Higgins also led with three aces and added 10 digs, just behind team-leader Shelby Buck, who had 12. Morgan Lenix had eight assists to lead the Bears (5-17, 1-13) as well.
“When they play hard – they can play with anybody,” Berlin coach Dana Stearns said. “It’s the ability to maintain that level and that’s what we struggle with.”
Berlin started 2-0 in the first set, but didn’t have the lead again until early in the third. The Bears led by as much as four on three occasions, including as late as 12-8 before the Pacers’ game-clinching rally.
“I thought we started that third set pretty strong,” Stearns said. “Sometimes, we just beat ourselves. I think we give away easy points and then we just let it slip away. So, that’s one of the things that we have to work on.”
One would think that Berlin wants a clean slate as it embarks on its first offseason. But, that’s not the case at all.
The Bears play the winner of the Heath-Licking Valley matchup. Berlin is the 13-seed, Heath is eighth and Licking Valley is 11th, so the Bears will travel to the winner Wednesday night at 6 p.m.
“We’re still gonna come into practice and work hard,” Stearns said. “We’re gonna take everything we can take from the regular season – knowing that we’ve played some tough competition all season long – and hope that it translates into a good game on Wednesday.”
Hayes is the 15 seed in Division I and will host 28th-seeded Thomas Worthington Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in a matchup of OCC-Cardinal foes.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at [email protected]