November 5, 2007

Red Welcomes Columbia to Newman Arena This Evening to Complete Home Schedule

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It’s been a long and challenging season for the women’s volleyball team, who has struggled to overcome the obstacle of inexperience throughout the last few months.
With a loss to Brown and a huge win over Yale this past weekend behind it, the Red will finish out this three-match marathon against Columbia at Newman Arena tonight.
“We’ll practice on Sunday and turn our focus to Columbia,” said head coach Deitre Collins-Parker. “This has been a good week as far as injuries go as most everyone is doing pretty well. They know it will be tough to have three games but it’s what everybody does in the country so we’ll just have to deal with it.”
In spite of any fatigue incurred from playing two difficult matches last Friday and Saturday, the Red is prepared for its third big Ivy match in four days. With only one day of practice to prepare for the Lions, the squad will be using the adrenaline from its Yale victory to power it through this next match. Though the team enjoyed the morning off on Sunday, it spent much of the day practicing and watching video in preparation for tonight.
“Following our win over Yale, we are really excited to play [today],” said senior captain Amy Gordon. “We played 10 games this weekend, both days were five-game matches, so our bodies are certainly fatigued. But playing is more fun than practicing, so we are excited to play.”
The last time the Red and the Lions faced each other was in New York City and the Red returned home victorious, beating Columbia 3-1. The Lions are a somewhat smaller team compared to the Red, with some strong outside players solidifying their offense. Still, the Lions will be able take advantage of an opportunity should the Red fall into the trap of making too many errors, a flaw that has plagued them this season. However, Columbia has had a difficult, somewhat unrewarding season, and still has not succeeded in beating an Ivy League opponent.
“Our strategy is more about just playing better volleyball,” Collins-Parker said. “I think on all of the teams we have to do a better job blocking, slowing down their outsides, and not allowing them to score a lot of times. Especially Columbia, their outsides are the nucleus of their team. So we just have to focus on stopping them.”
Gordon thinks that some renewed confidence after the Yale win and tough, consistent, error-free volleyball against a struggling Columbia squad, could notch the Red at least one more victory this season.
“Last time we played Columbia, we won in four games. Tomorrow, we are looking to sweep,” Gordon said. “We have struggled with weekday matches in the past, so we really are focusing on playing really good volleyball — and if we do that, we should come out with a win.”