Volleyball rebounds back-to-back in weekend series

The Cougars prepares to receive an attack being set up by Little Rock.

Oct. 7, 2022

At the Friday night game, the team came back from a loss in the first set with three consecutive wins.  

 

The team wore green t-shirts for Mental Health Awareness week. Head Coach Kendall Paulus said mental health is a topic that is very personal for some of the players, but that they wanted to make sure they promoted mental health awareness for all students, not just student athletes.  

 

"Everyone goes through so much stress, and we want to make sure that we are open, no matter what your position is in life,” Paulus said. “But we want you to feel like there are places, resources, for you to get help,” Paulus said.  

 

Paulus said the team was able to make a comeback by not dwelling on their first loss.  

 

“We got to feel the team and really use that to our advantage, what we learned,” Paulus said.  

 

Caroline Waite, a graduate student setter from Knoxville, Tennessee, said they were able to win the next three sets by being scrappy.  

 

“There was not a ball hitting the floor without a body coming after it,” Waite said.  

 

Paulus said even though their hitting percentage wasn’t great, she was happy to see the grid and the transition, as well as a fun team.  

 

“They [took] big swings, and so I felt like that was a really fun match to watch and play in and be a part of,” Paulus said.  

 

Julia Treichel, a sophomore outside hitter from Brookfield, Wisconsin, said the win was something the team needed coming off of the previous Tuesday’s match.  

 

“[It was] obviously a little rough, but every team has those games, so showing the ability that we can fight back was really important for us,” Treichel said.  

 

Waite said the team is ready to play on the road this week.  

 

“We’re battled-tested on the road, we’ve played big matches on the road, we’ve won big matches on the road,” Waite said.  

 

Oct. 8, 2022

The Cougars scraped out a win Saturday in their five set game against Little Rock, closing out the weekend series.

Little Rock took the first set for the second day in a row, with the Cougars recovering to take the second and last two sets. The set scores came to 24-26, 25-18, 20-25, 25-23 and 15-12.

Paulus said that despite taking the win, she thought their team was losing control through much of the game.

“I honestly felt like Little Rock controlled the game more than we did,” Paulus said. “They had 18 blocks to our 6. Yesterday, it was 11-11 blocks, so they came back with a great blocking plan … It just took us a while to get rhythm. I felt like we were setting ourselves right into their blocks, which didn't allow us to get a rhythm going.”

However, Paulus said it was the Cougars’ ability to keep their composure and trust in their servers, such as Treichel, who had five out of the Cougars’ 11 aces, that allowed them to keep up.

“We tried to keep going to the right side, it was just too hard to get momentum over there,” Paulus said. “So, when we want to have balance, but we can’t score, you’ve got to hope that you have a [Sydney] Hummert to come in and get 24 kills. So we needed her, and she really was there for us.”

Hummert, a sophomore outside hitter from Quincy, Illinois, scored the most points in one match of any Cougar this season, maintaining a 0.316 hitting percentage and adding 15 digs, making it a double-double.

Two other Cougars scored a double-double during the game as well. Alyse Drifka, a sophomore setter from Richfield, Wisconsin, boasted 17 digs and 24 assists while Treichel added 12 kills and 12 digs.

Waite led the Cougars’ 65 total assists with 31 individually.

This puts the Cougars at 5-2 in OVC and 10-8 overall. They will play next in Cookeville, Tennessee, against Tennessee Tech in a weekend series at 6 p.m. on Oct. 14 and noon on Oct. 15.

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