Volleyball puts perfect season on line in Fresno
The No. 7 USC womenâs volleyball team is preparing for another busy weekend, with three matches in a span of only two days.
The team will participate in the Fresno State Invitational, where it will face host Fresno State on Friday at 7 p.m., followed by Cal State Bakersfield and Sacramento State on Saturday at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. respectively.
History is on the Women of Troyâs side this weekend; they have won all seven matches they have played against Fresno State. Although USC has never faced Cal State Bakersfield or Sacramento State, none of these teams have gotten off to a strong start, with Fresno State at 3-5, Sacramento State at 5-6 and Cal State Bakersfield at 0-11.
âWeâve gotten tapes of all the opponents, so we know pretty much what theyâve been trying to do, but weâre trying to improve some things that weâre doing on our side of the net,â USC coach Mick Haley said.
On paper, the Women of Troy should not have to worry about facing these opponents, considering their undefeated record and impressive wins against teams such as Hawaiâi; however, Haley wants to make sure that his players stay focused rather than overlook these teams.
âEvery one of them does something well and our goal is to see if we can stop what theyâre trying to do, so itâs a good challenge for us,â Haley said.
Haley does seem concerned about fatigue. The Women of Troy will play four matches in five days, with a Tuesday night game on the road at UC Irvine following this weekendâs play. However, there is a reason for the madness.
âI felt like we were going to have so many good players that I needed the opportunities for everybody to get a chance to contribute and show what they can do,â Haley said. âHopefully theyâll be mature enough to handle all the play and not as much practice.â
Haleyâs confidence can be attributed to his teamâs impressive depth. So far, a number of different players have had the opportunity to shine this season and Haley does not foresee this trend ending anytime soon.
Another one of his six freshmen phenoms has grabbed his attention this week â outside hitter/opposite Sara Shaw
âSara Shaw has really kicked it up another notch,â Haley said. âSheâs starting to break the heat now, and sheâs capable of doing that.â
Although the Women of Troy have experienced success so far this season, in Haleyâs eyes, there is still room for improvement.
âBesides trying to win the matches, weâre really trying to see if we can adjust âŠ make adjustments, change personnel and attack what the other teamâs trying to do,â Haley said.
Thus far, he seems optimistic about the teamâs progress.
âWeâve done a lot of heavy work in the weight room, and weâve done a lot of things to improve our side of the net this week,â Haley said. âSo weâre hoping that weâre going to get better.â