It’s only the first week of the semester, and volleyball already has a big weekend ahead of it.
Today, the team will play Oakland University in the Oakland Invitational at 7 p.m. This will be CMU’s first real test of season after last week’s Maroon/Gold Scrimmage against an alumni team.
The Chippewas will also play Oregon State at 10 a.m.Saturday followed by Villanova at 4:30 p.m. to wrap up the invitational.
Head coach Erik Olson stressed last week after the scrimmage that he and his coaching staff would review film and make the proper adjustments. During practice the past few days, Olson has kept his players prepared for the upcoming matches.
“This week’s process is simply polishing our rotations,” Olson said. “We came out of the scrimmage, and we saw some things that needed to be addressed in regards to how efficient we are … We want to be good and polished for the (Mid-American Conference championships).”
During weekly practice, the Chippewas have started to come together as a team. In the process, practices have been goal-oriented, but Olson is still pushing his team to go the extra mile.
“I think we have a tough weekend ahead of us,” Olson said. “This is one of the greatest weekends in terms of a collection of great coaches, and none of us have played each other, in terms of historical basis. “Everyone has a shot of being really good this weekend, so the emphasis is ‘let’s not give anything away, let’s take it.’”
Someone who can help the Chippewas do that is senior setter Kelly Maxwell. Now, with her final year of eligibility set to begin Friday, she sees the Oakland Invitational as a chance to start off her final season on a good note. Going into the first set of matches this season, Maxwell, along with the rest of CMU’s roster, is confident and focused.
“I think we’re well-prepared, and our offense is looking good,” Maxwell said. “We’re working on some things this week to tactically make sense against our opponents, but we’re definitely headed in the right direction.”
Maxwell has confidence in herself and her teammates. She is also aware of the new and expanded role that she faces, not to mention new expectations that have been bestowed upon her as a senior athlete this season.
“I wouldn’t say there’s any added pressure,” Maxwell said. “I just think there’s different expectations as a senior than there is at a different class level. I think it comes with experience, and it’s a rightful expectation, because it’s the fourth year we’re doing this.”
Check with cm-life.com for updates on the volleyball team this weekend.