The volleyball team has good reason to be optimistic after Saturday’s annual Maroon/Gold Scrimmage, which pits the current team against an alumni squad.
The current squad, wearing maroon, beat the gold alumni team 4-1, and head coach Erik Olson is happy with how his team played.
“I thought the alumni did a great job at making us play the game rather than making us hit a ton of errors,” Olson said. “That’s the hardest part of the game during transition on and off the net. They really made us play, so that makes us so much better tonight.”
A mix of veteran leadership and youth performed in front of a relatively small, but lively crowd at McGuirk Arena. This mix helped the Maroon team pull ahead for a few decisive late-set points and earn the eventual victory.
The Chippewas started the match off strong by taking the first set against the alumni, but the alumni quickly bounced back to take the second set 25-20. Sophomore middle blocker Angelique White was responsible for 14 kills that led the way for a 25-19 victory in the third set.
Senior defensive specialist Jenna Coates accounted for 15 digs and an assist.
“A big thing we talk about is just communication and being in the moment,” Coates said. “Sometimes you tend to get a little ahead of yourself and think of the outcome, and we don’t want to be thinking like that.”
Olson was pleased with how the team performed defensively during the tune-up match.
“I thought we brought up a lot of balls, and it wasn’t just Jenna,” Olson said. “I can say that, and I don’t look at the numbers as much as others.”
Olson believes in his system and thinks the team is slowly, but surely, beginning to come together.
“We certainly need to be more efficient in all of our processes offensively and defensively,” Olson said. “I thought we passed pretty well tonight, but we will have to correct some things from the film, and the system on offensive and defense is starting to take hold.”
The Chippewas will next play at the Oakland Invitational in Rochester, Mich. They open up the tournament on Friday with a match against Oakland University.