The volleyball team (1-5) is looking to find its rhythm this weekend and pick up a few wins in its final preseason tournament at the University of Virginia. Despite picking up only one win at its home tournament, the team is optimistic that it can continue to develop and refine the raw potential in its young lineup.
“These past two weekends, we’ve learned a lot, and we’ve had some very competitive matches,” senior Savannah Fletcher said. “We’ve been in every single game we’ve played, which is huge, but I think the last step we need to accomplish before going into Cornell two weekends from now is to learn how to finish a game. Right now, we have the middle part really strong, and we’re playing well until about 20-20.”
It’s the final stretch to the set-winning 25, though, that needs work.
A positive from the past weekend was the balanced hitting and the variety of offensive threats available from both the middle and right side of the court.
“We’ve had a few ups and down, in terms of spreading out our offense. This coming weekend, the goal is to make everyone an offense threat and to really utilize the power we have coming from the middle and the right side, as well as our outstanding outside hitters,” Fletcher said. “Same themes we’ve been trying to work on all preseason, but now we really want to finalize it, fine-tune it, make it the biggest threat possible.”
One trend that needs to be remedied before the start of Ivy League play is the team’s ability to dictate the flow of the game.
“The big thing we’re going to work on is starting and finishing,” head coach Jon Wilson said. “We’re starting slow and not finishing as strong as we can. So we want to work on those areas, be better at end game and get off to a better start.”
But Wilson isn’t overly concerned with these issues, as they seem to be more of a byproduct of the composition of the team this year.
“We haven’t had a settled lineup. We’ve had a lot of injuries. We have a lot of youth. I think a lot of that is working itself out in practice, and I expect us to get better this weekend,” Wilson said.
The team expects to have sophomore Lucy Tilton return to the lineup after missing the second half of the Columbia Invitational. Senior captain Colleen Brennan remains on the sideline, but is expected to return by the first Ivy match against Cornell.
The Lions play their first match on Friday at 4:30 p.m. against William and Mary, and they play two more matches on Saturday, with Virginia at noon and Seton Hall at 4:30 p.m.