Volleyball drops four games over the weekend

Brian Hula, Contributing Writer

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The University of Dallas’ Women’s Volleyball Team lost all four contests they played throughout a weekend road trip to Colorado. The Crusader women, hampered by injuries to key players, played well at times but were never able to best an opponent over the course of an entire game.

The Crusaders played a hard-fought contest against Schreiner University that resulted in a 2-3 defeat. Although Dallas dropped the first set, the team surged back to take the second and third sets. The Crusaders lost their momentum at that point, allowing their opponent to win two straight sets and claim the victory.

The Dallas women are still struggling to adjust after the team has suffered several unfortunate injuries.

“We have had a rough season, injuries-wise,” sophomore defensive specialist, Diana Hassink, said. “Losing Jamie [Birzer] was really hard, and everyone was trying to fill in for that … We’re just kind of struggling. Whenever push comes to shove, sometimes you can’t just fight through it. Mental errors usually kill us a lot.”

Southwestern University, ranked 11th nationally in Division III volleyball, swept Dallas in the next game. Even with fresh players rotating in, the Crusaders were unable to win any sets against this talented opponent.

“[Southwestern University is] really good, defensively,” Hassink said. “We experimented with a couple lineups … everyone was playing everywhere … [It was] really hard to come out with strong positive energy.”

This rotation also hampered the Crusaders to some extent. Hassink added that players were preoccupied with maintaining the correct position on the court for a given formation.

The Crusaders were unable to improve their performance on the second day of competition, suffering 0-3 losses to both Trinity University and Texas Lutheran University. In both games, the Dallas women struggled with the mental aspect of playing the game.

“[We need] the mindset that we’re not going to lose this point, which I think we’re kind of lacking,” Hassink said.

She attributed the team’s poor play throughout all four games to “mental laziness.”

“If we wanted to win, if we really had that desire, I think we could have played a lot better this weekend,” Hassink said.

This weekend’s games were the last regular-season contests against conference opponents for the Crusaders. The team plays four non-conference foes this week, and will finish the season by competing in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) tournament on Nov. 6 and 7.

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