The West Virginia volleyball team will face off against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Morgantown on Wednesday.
WVU (9-12, 1-7 Big 12) is coming off their first extended road trip of the season and it did not end ideally. The Mountaineers had not won an away match in Big 12 play this year, and were hoping to change that. But, the Mountaineers took tough losses to both TCU and Oklahoma to remain winless on the road in the conference.
Although the two-game road trip resulted in losses, the Mountaineers did some good things. Sophomore middle blocker Katie DeMeo holds the top spot in the Big 12 for blocks per set as well as getting her 100th block of the season.
“Now that I have had a year under my belt, it’s a huge confidence builder. It’s a lot easier to know what you have to practice. We’ve worked on a lot of stuff because blocking, it looks simple, but it’s a lot of knit picky things,” said DeMeo.
Even with individual pieces of the team excelling, head coach Reed Sunahara and the team know they have reoccurring issues that need addressed.
For their third game of the season the Mountaineers have led a match 2-1 going into the third set. They dropped the third, fourth, and fifth set, taking an overall loss in the matches to Kansas, Baylor and TCU.
“It was all mistakes we were making that’s the most frustrating and most promising. It’s not like they were doing something spectacular, they were playing the same volley. We were making more mistakes and that’s what gave them the game,” said junior Katelyn Evans.
Everything is not all bad. The team has a combination physical and mental road blocks to overcome but there is a silver lining.
“The positive is that we’re in it but the negative is we didn’t finish. Hopefully we can still be in it and learn how to finish and I think we we’ll have something going, I like our chances,” said Sunahara.
The team is young, made up of nine freshmen, they weren’t expected to do big things. But they have come a long way since the start of the 2018 season and can’t be counted out.
“I know we’re young but I told them the other day we’re not young anymore its half way through the season we have to keep plugging away and keep getting better and make sure we take care of getting every point,” said Sunahara
The Mountaineers are meeting Texas Tech for the 14th time since WVU has joined the Big 12. The last time these teams got together in September, TTU came out with the win in Lubbock. But in 2017 WVU took the match to five sets, claiming the 3-2 home win. The Red Raiders are one of the five teams tied for third in the Big 12 holding a .500 record.
The first set serve against TTU will be on October 24th at 6 p.m. in the Coliseum.