The Bearkat volleyball team stumbled out to an 0-2 start in Southland Conference play, but back-to-back home wins this past weekend against McNeese State and Nicholls State have given the Kats the confidence they need as they prepare to travel to San Antonio, TX on Thursday to take on Incarnate Word.
Eliminating mental mistakes and front line blocking spurred the Kats resurgence at home, and that same attention to detail will be needed going forward for the Kats.
This experienced Bearkat team knows that winning at home, and winning on the road, are two very different challenges. At home you’re in your comfort zone, in your own gym, in front of your fans, and you don’t have to travel; when you go on the road all of that changes.
“Getting comfortable in their gym will be key,” head coach Brenda Gray said. “It is kind of dark in there so that will be different for us.”
Gray always emphasizes taking care of her team first in all preparation, but the Bearkats will need to slow Incarnate Word’s outside hitter Autumn Lockley in order to win this game.
Lockley was named Southland Conference Player of the Year in 2015, and has been playing at a high rate this season. Lockley has led the Cardinals in kills four of the last five games, and currently leads the team with 190 kills on the season. Lockley leads a strong group of outside hitters for the Cardinals
“We are going to have to take care of their outside,” Gray said. “They have a really good outside hitter (Lockley), and she can terminate just about any ball. She has good power, and she’s just a really good player.”
Incarnate Word currently holds a 5-11 overall record, with a 1-3 record in conference play. If the Bearkats can limit Lockley’s impact on the game, and get into a rhythm early on, they should be able to walk out of San Antonio with a victory.
First serve is set for Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the McDermott Convocation Center in San Antonio.