Mountaineers ready to face Cleveland State, Murray State
Published: Friday, September 14, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 14, 2012 07:09
After a poor performance against Robert Morris in Moon Township, Pa., Tuesday, the West Virginia volleyball team will return home for action Sept. 15-16 to face off against Cleveland State and Murray State.
The CSU Vikings will travel to Morgantown with hopes of preying upon a Mountaineer team with something to prove after their five-set marathon match against Robert Morris.
WVU will most likely have its eyes set on Arielle Allen, who emerged against RMU to the beat of a 19-kill performance and quite the array of defensive moves.
"I just really wanted to be back with the team after sitting out," Allen said. "I think after that match we all just want to head back to the gym and work on stuff and get back out there this weekend."
While the Mountaineers may want to put the tough loss behind them, Cleveland State will not be in a gracious mood Saturday as they enter with a 7-4 record and a team that statistically matches or betters WVU’s.
One of WVU’s key players from the beginning of the season, Hannah Sackett, has trailed off and struggled lately for the Mountaineers and will have something to prove for herself this weekend.
"I’ve got a lot of work to do," Sackett said. "I started off the year great, but I don’t know. I guess I just have to shake off whatever this is and just suck it up and get back to playing."
Sackett will carry a target in this weekend’s pair of games and will most likely bear the burden of the 195 kills that the Vikings Kara Koch brings with her. Koch will also team up with CSU’s own Annie Djukic, who has been the source of Cleveland’s assists at this point in the season.
Freshman setter Brittany Sample of the Mountaineers will get to see firsthand how her game stacks up against an even-keeled player and could be scrutinized if she fails to deliver this weekend after coming up short on several passes.
"We have a lot to work on this week," said West Virginia head coach Jill Kramer. "It’s as simple as that. We fought hard. We lost.
"There isn’t much else I can say. At least I can say they fought from down 2-0 and made it a close game."
Murray State enters this weekend’s match with only seven games under its belt this season. The Racers are led by Kristen Besselsen on the attack with 66 kills.
Ultimately, the Mountaineers plan to come out strong against Cleveland State and continue the barrage against Murray State and climb their way to a comfortable two games above .500 on the season.
If they are to succeed, they will need to cut back on error totals and make a return to the style of play seen in last weekend’s Golden Horseshoe Challenge, which still stands as their best collective performance this season.
WVU is scheduled to play Cleveland State at in the WVU Coliseum at 5 p.m. Saturday.