The University of Dallas Volleyball team overcame a slow start to claim a 3-0 victory over Arlington Baptist College on Thursday. In the first set, the Crusaders fell behind to start play but quickly battled back to take the lead in the set, winning by a score of 25-20. Despite their victory, the team knew that it was important, regardless of the end result of the contest, to begin play aggressively and confidently. Sophomore defensive specialist Diana Hassink emphasized the importance of an aggressive start.
“I wouldn’t say we started off super strong,” said Hassink. “It wasn’t great, because it starts bad habits. You perform lazy (sic) in the beginning, and what’s … to stop you from doing it every single time … if you start off slow, it’s more chance (sic) to have error, or for [your opponent] to get more confident.”
The Crusaders performed much more consistently in the second and third sets. In both sets, they won by a score of 25-15.
“[The team] really played with the mindset that no ball was going to hit the floor and I think that’s what really helped us pull out the win,” said Mairin Guilfoyle, a junior outside hitter.
Dallas was also able to substitute freely during the final set.
“We put all of our players on in the last game, and that was really beneficial,” said Hassink. “It’s always nice when you get new, fresh feet on the floor, because they always have really positive energy.”
With the season already past the halfway point, the team has identified several key areas that need continued improvement. First of all, the Crusaders must work on playing strategically.
“[We need to] keep placing the ball,” Hassink said. “Sometimes power doesn’t always work — [we need to keep] reading the other team, and placing it where they’re not.”
The team is also striving to eliminate sloppy play in the beginnings of games.
“I think right now we are working on … trying to start games all fired up, rather than waiting until the second and third set[s] to really start playing,” said Guilfoyle.
Nothing except for hard work as a team and individual effort will allow the team to improve.
“We just need to keep working,” said Hassink. “We’ve been working really hard … countless hours.”
This continued effort will be put to the test this Thursday, Oct. 8 when the Crusaders take on the University of Texas at Dallas at the Maher Center at 7 p.m.