October 29, 2007

Sweeps End Volleyball’s Title Hopes

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The volleyball team continued its Ivy League free-fall this weekend, with its fourth and fifth straight losses to Princeton (13-3, 5-0 Ivy) and Penn (12-7, 5-2), respectively. In spite of high hopes just two weeks ago when the Red (6-15 , 3-6) was tied for third in the Ivy League, the squad could not overcome the experience and skill of both teams and pull out a win.
“I think both teams just have more experience than we do and are really playing well together,” said head coach Deitre Collins-Parker. “In both matches, at times, it just felt like everything was moving too fast for us at this point.”
Not that the squad didn’t have its moments of solid, aggressive play. Especially against Penn on Saturday, the Red showed flashes of the talented team it is. However, in the end, the women lost all three games against Penn, 30-20, 30-22 and 30-19. Freshman Katie Marshall played great offense in the match with 10 total kills.
“At the end of the Penn match, I really felt we were playing at the level we should be at,” Collins-Parker said. “We just competed well and blocked well. Our offense was going well and we played really good defense. We hustled and played really hard and we just exchanged point for point with them.”
Friday’s match against Princeton was a difficult loss for the Red. Unable to really pull all of the aspects of its game together, the squad suffered mainly from an inability to consistently defend Princeton’s experience and daunting offense. Errors plagued the Red and allowed the Tigers to move in for the kill and win all three games, 30-20, 30-22 and 30-19.
“At times we attacked well but, we’re still just making too many errors,” Collins-Parker said. “It’s experience. Everyday we try to figure out how to fix it but its just experience and working harder in practice.”
This week the coaching staff will buckle down on the girls in practice in order to try and remedy the problem. Collins-Parker stressed that the girls aren’t slacking off in any way, they just need to work on playing error free in practice so that those same mistakes don’t hurt them in a match.
“What I expressed to the team is just that we have to be better in practice if we want to expect to be better in games,” Collins-Parker said. “I think the coaching staff will just have to be tougher on them so as to not allow mistakes to happen there because we are not at a level where we can turn it on for a game. Across the board its not anyone’s fault it’s just growing pains for a young team.”