Unfinished business

Wolf Pack volleyball prepares to face conference rival

Mark Robinson

Eva Allen, a mass communication junior, and Becca Burnett, envir

Zach Brien
Eva Allen, a mass communication junior, volleys the ball back ag

Zach Brien
Lauren Brand, a psychology senior, serves the ball against Bethe

Zach Brien

Zach Brien

“Keep on keepin’ on” has been the motto for the women’s Wolf Pack volleyball team this season.

Head Coach Angela Franke said that from day one, there was always the understanding that this year’s team would be a work in progress. This became evident when the team opened the season losing seven of their first nine games, some of which were to conference opponents.

Now they are sitting with a 10-16 record, including a record of 4-10 in conference play. Although this puts the team at eighth place in their respective conference, Franke said she is still pushing for a higher seeding.

“I am happy with where we’re at, but I feel like we could be a little higher with our win-to-loss ratio. There were a few games early in the season, that, had we been further into it, we would have had a few more wins,” Franke said.

Even though the Wolf Pack is seeded in the lower top 10 of their conference, Franke is proud of the growth and development of her young team.

“They’ve adjusted well. Even though some have played more than everyone has contributed. I’m excited for when they become upperclassmen leading the Pack in the future,” Franke said.

The final stretch of games is an exciting time for the team, especially for Tiffany Walker, political science senior. Conference play at this time of the season not only narrows the team’s focus, but also gives the Pack a chance at redemption against rival opponents that they fell to earlier in the season.

“We’re really excited to see some of those teams again. Hopefully we can have a different outcome. Things are finally starting to come together for us,” Walker said.

Walker was sidelined due to a severe knee injury last season that caused her to miss all but one tournament. She has accepted the challenge of leading the Pack and keeping the team focused. The challenge that lies ahead for the Pack is opponents Belhaven and Faulkner. The team has beaten Belhaven and lost to Faulker in previous games.

“Winning against Belhaven was one of the most fun wins this season. Everyone had such high energy in the win. Our lack of energy caused us to underestimate Faulkner. We have to keep the same energy level from everyone the next time we face them,” Walker said.

Energy and maturity aren’t the only things that the Pack will need as the conference tournament comes into play. Eva Allen,  mass communication junior, believes that consistency will be key if the Pack is to secure a sweep against rivals Belhaven and Faulkner and gain any ground in the conference standings.

“The biggest thing is getting everyone to play 100 percent every time. Our defense will be really strong in one game, but then our offense won’t be as strong. Every night we step on the court we need to bring 100 percemt,” Allen said.

Allen, who leads the team in kills per game at 3.4, also says that having the home court advantage this time around against Belhaven and Faulkner will be key.

“We have our crowd. We’ll be playing on our court. Belhaven will be eager to want to beat us, so that just means that we need to find that home court intensity and just play our game,” Allen said.

The Pack will face off against Belhaven tonight in the Den, followed by Faulkner on Saturday Nov. 1.