Women’s volleyball coach Bob Bertucci will tell you Yamit Haba works hard and pays attention in practice. The Owls’ recent success has shown how much her play is paying off.
“Yamit is taking what she’s learning in practice and implementing that in the game,” Bertucci said. “She’s giving us a boost that we didn’t have in the beginning of the season.”
A coach couldn’t ask much more from a player. But Haba understands just how much the coaches do in order to improve the team’s play.
“The coaches have done a great job of analyzing each of our opponents,” Haba said. “I work hard in practice and pay close attention to the coach’s strategy.”
Opening the season with five straight losses, the Owls have been on fire winning 17 of their last 19 matches. With wins over American, Fordham, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania last week, they are currently riding a 12 game winning streak.
Haba was named Atlantic Ten Player of the Week, for Nov. 3. Bertucci believes this is a tribute to her leadership and consistent hard work.
“When we get frustrated she continues to be verbal,” Bertucci said. “It really gets the team going.”
Haba said being loud and talking to her teammates during the game is her style.
“It keeps me fired up,” she said. “I think in volleyball it’s easy to get quiet. The quieter you are the harder it is to win.”
Hobbled by a knee injury in the beginning of the season, Haba has quickly turned things around. Excelling in numerous statistics, she has compiled 249 kills and 250 digs on the season.
“I feel much more comfortable,” Haba said. “We’ve been able to solve our problems and have been improving since the beginning of the season.”
In high school Haba was named “Best Player” by the Israeli Volleyball Association in 1998 and was captain of the Israeli National Team. She came to Temple from Kiryat Ata, Israel as a freshman in 2000 and has been efficient every season she’s played. She was named A-10 Conference Rookie of the Year, and has been named to the all- conference team the past two seasons.
Haba’s goal is to see the Owls repeat as A-10 champs, and she is certain they have the ability to do so. Most importantly, the Owls are 11-1 in conference play, losing only to Dayton.
The Owls avenged that loss beating Dayton 3-2, as Haba led the team with an outstanding 27 kills and 17 digs.
“I love big games,” Haba said. “I feel I play better under pressure. I think it is going to be us and Dayton in the final game. We must be at 100 percent.”
Junior Jill Fetrow admires the leadership Haba exhibits on the court.
“Yamit is the most confident player I’ve ever seen,” she said. “She makes you more confident when you play with her.”
Charles Peach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.