Emily Caples, Contributing Writer
Last weekend, the University of Dallas women’s volleyball team headed to Nebraska to play Presentation College and Concordia University. These matches were the team’s last before the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) games.
The first match, against Presentation, was high-energy.
The Crusaders created and kept momentum each time they earned a point and made sure to utilize their opponents’ errors.
They showed a much-improved resilience by getting side-outs quickly when the other team had possession of the ball.
Presentation was therefore forced to play more cautiously, as its go-to hitters were repeatedly blocked by sophomores Cat Dowgwillo (RH), Marissa Villarrubia (MB) and Jaime Birzer (MB) and junior Emily Caples (RH).
The offensive line swung aggressively and relentlessly found the holes in its opponents’ defense.
After resounding wins in the first two games of the match (25-11, 25-21), UD lost the third game 31-33, but the players did not let it affect their approach to the next game.
They were able to win the fourth (25-18) and take the match.
The second match was against the host team, Concordia.
The Crusaders’ focus for this game, the last before the conference games, was to play to win, rather than to play not to lose; to play fearlessly rather than timidly.
The women tried to cut down on their own errors by increasing ball control and communication.
There was more tension on the court than in the previous game, but the Crusaders kept calm and did not let the scoreboard influence their play. They recovered from errors with smart plays and well-timed set-dumps.
While the match finished in a three-game loss (25-22, 25-15, 25-22), the team did not foster the usual disappointment that comes with a loss.
Instead, they focused on the obvious improvement from the first two weekends of play, and although the team wasn’t content to lose, the games set a good tone entering into the season’s conference matches