Mountaineers in search of first Big 12 win vs. Texas Tech
Published: Friday, October 26, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012 08:10
For the West Virginia volleyball team, a win against Texas Tech Saturday will serve as validation for weeks of adjustments and improvements. The Mountaineers have struggled, losing nine straight games since their last victory against Murray State Sept. 16.
"There are a lot of little pieces to the puzzle," said West Virginia head coach Jill Kramer. "We have to make sure that we stay focused during the duration (of the match) and play with passion. If we play with passion and get a few positive plays to come together."
The Mountaineers have learned and matured a great deal during the nine-game slide and have even taken it upon themselves to extend practices to work on specific areas of their game plan.
"They wanted to work on some extra stuff and get ready for the game," Kramer said of her team’s request to extend Monday’s practice an additional 30 minutes.
"It’s my job, and my staff’s job to just make sure that they don’t do too much and overextend themselves before a match. They are hungry for a win, and they are doing everything they can to do so."
The Mountaineers spent an additional 30 minutes of practice to work on passing, striking and cardio prior to their Wednesday matchup with Kansas State.
West Virginia lost (3-1) to Texas Tech in their first match in the WVU Coliseum Oct. 13 and looks to make a much better second impression on the road as they travel to Lubbock, Texas, to face the Red Raiders on their home turf.
"We did not play very well against Tech the first time around, to be quite honest," Kramer said. "So we want to come out and just do well this time around. We just want to play our game and come out stronger."
The Mountaineers have managed just five set wins when facing Big 12 Conference opponents, including an opening-set win against the Red Raiders in their past matchup. Looking forward to Saturday’s match in Lubbock, West Virginia hopes to build off that set victory and come away with the complete match to which Kramer has alluded in recent weeks.
"We are prepared at every position," said West Virginia junior Arielle Allen. "We work hard in every practice, and we know what is expected of us. We are ready to get back to practice and continue to work on things before the next game."
The team hopes to see a stronger showing by their attackers – the Mountaineers combined for just 26 kills while recording 24 attacking errors in Wednesday night’s loss to No. 14 Kansas State.
Freshman outside hitter Hannah Sackett maintains the kills lead for the Mountaineers thus far in the season with 222 in 23 matches this season and she is averaging just less than three kills per set.
Sackett is trailed closed by fellow freshman Nikki Attea who has 202 kills in the same number of matches for a 2.35 kills-per-set average.
The duo looks to strike back against Tech Saturday and put West Virginia back in the win column and on track to finish strong in their inaugural Big 12 season.
Game time vs. Texas Tech is slated for 7 p.m.