After a tough loss to UCLA on Wednesday, the Women of Troy (8-4) look for redemption in Friday’s game against Washington (10-1). The Trojans lost to the Bruins in four sets, ending their 8-match winning streak. This weekend, they look to defeat Washington and continue working on their team communication.
Though Wednesday’s match was a letdown for Trojan fans, various players stepped up to help the team. For example, junior middle blocker Jordan Dunn recorded six kills and put up four blocks against the Bruins. Junior outside hitter Niki Withers had 13 kills, while sophomore libero Victoria Garrick had a career high 24 digs during the game. The Trojans believe that they can bounce back for Friday’s game.
“My focus has to be all the good things we did tonight and how much better we improved in some things,” head coach Mick Haley said. “This gave us a really good look at where we can improve to get better.”
Friday will be a quick turnaround for the Trojans, especially since no one likes losing to the Bruins. However, Washington will be a good game for the Trojans to work on correcting their mistakes. Because the games are so close together, Haley said they won’t be able to get much better or improve too much in the one day they have between games.
“We have to gut this Friday match out,” Haley said. “We are not going to get better or improve, but we certainly are gonna have some experiences from this that are gonna help us a little bit.”
For Friday, both Haley and junior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley believe there are little things they can tweak to improve their game. The team primarily needs to emphasize communication and ball control in order to be successful this weekend. Haley said that because the team is so young, there are still small errors that they make which can be fixed with concentration and experience.
“We have to focus on strategies and correcting some leaks in our reception patterns, working on whose ball is whose,” Haley said. “We have to emphasize ball control. We must have lost 5 or 7 points on just not handling the ball well. That is something we can correct with concentration and passing.”
Meyer-Whalley echoed this sentiment, saying that when the ball is on their side of the court, the team needs to work on both controlling the ball and bettering the ball. She also explained that there must be a rhythm between the setters and the hitters, and once that comes, the team will be hitting a lot more balls. They have to work on trusting each other as well.
“We can’t start a match with ease, you have to go in fighting,” Meyer-Whalley said. “Our body language has to be that we are ready to fight from the beginning. We have to build some momentum, because it takes momentum away from the other team.”
The Women of Troy will face the University of Washington Friday night at 7 p.m. at Galen Center.