Following a tough 1-3 weekend at the Austin College Invitational, the Lady Crusaders are approaching their next task at Colorado College, where they will begin Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) play.
“In Colorado, the players are in higher altitude, where the ball floats and the players need to move their feet and back up their serving” head coach Prentice Lewis said.
In addition to the altitude adjustment, the team must travel eleven hours before arriving at 4 pm. Then they have to play a good, smart game an hour upon arrival, and rest before participating in the two games the next day. Coach Lewis expressed her concerns for this unforgiving schedule but has faith that the team will pull through and be successful.
All of the tools needed to overcome this obstacle starts with the practice sessions.
When practicing, the women are in a separate world; the only things that the team focuses on are the ball, their positions, their teammates’ positions, and the opponent’s position. Throughout the practices, Coach Lewis induces good strategic habits while expelling bad habits with conditioning.
“The team is learning so much every day,” Coach Lewis stated, after showing a player how to serve deeper from her position.
The Crusaders’ progress will be quite apparent to anyone who watches the volleyball games or practices. Through the progression of practice the Lady Crusaders read their opponents’ movements as well as their teammates’ in order to find weaknesses and expose or defend them. This elongates the volleys throughout the practice and results in playing a smart game.
“We don’t have many hitters, but we have a great defense. Our objective is to keep the ball in the air and wait for the opponent’s error,” Coach Lewis concluded.
Unity is paramount for the University of Dallas women’s volleyball team. No matter the result, the consistent tagging of hands encourages effort, displays the excitement of scoring, and is a sign of trust for the incoming players when they change of positions.
The Lady Crusaders kick off SCAC play this weekend, facing Centenary College of Louisiana on Friday, Sept. 16 at 5 pm, and Austin College on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 11:30 am, followed by Colorado College at 6 pm.