Volleyball looks to rebound at UTA

Looking to rebound from two hard losses to Lamar and McNeese last weekend Bearkat volleyball coach Brenda Gray changed the routine this week in an effort to recharge the team for Saturday’s match against the undefeated University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks at 7 p.m. in Arlington.”On Monday, we were all mad,” she said. “We watched ourselves play McNeese. We knew how many unforced errors we had against Lamar, but McNeese, we all felt like there was absolutely no reason. We don’t fight to finish, I think some of us have become complacent in our positions. We’re not trying to get that spot anymore; it’s ours.”That problem had Gray coming up with a new way to bring out her warriors.Tuesday’s practice was “challenge day,” involving hill relays, stair relays, cone drills, a “get the ball across on your side” exercise and a tug of war. Gray also split the team six and six, one set wearing blue and the other wearing black, for a “black and blue drill.””They’re pretty banged up today,” Gray said. “For two hours, we flat out kicked it out there. I saw a lot of fight in some girls. Teri [Palmer] has a black eye and all their legs are pretty beat up. They’re pretty bloody underneath.”Wednesday’s practice had the team working on weak areas, such as moving the middle blockers around to help the hitting game, learning to ignore outside influences and making volleyball the number one thing on team members’ minds.Assistant Coach Traci Bendele said to get the girls back on track, they are going to have to recognize that last weekend was bad and that there are things that need improvement.”We realize that we’re lacking in the motivation department sometimes,” she said. “I think we’re going to have to stay focused, say this is where we lack; this is where we need to get better. They know when they’re getting down, and we told them, ‘come to the middle, pull together’. They just need to play their game, not let the losses of last weekend hurt us, but learn from them. Stay focused on our goal to get to the tournament.”Team leader Carrie Sartain said the team recognizes the problems and is looking forward to a win against UT-Arlington.”We’re definitely going to fight,” Sartain said. “We’ve got to come out and win the games when we need to. I think we start out strong, but we need to push through at the end. I think if we fight, we can take them out. They don’t have any losses, but if we fight and play our game, we can take them.”

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