After losing eight consecutive sets and being one set away from starting the season 0-3, the volleyball team won three-straight sets against Villanova Saturday.
“The competition just turned on,” said senior setter Kelly Maxwell. “We were missing our competitive edge and we definitely added that in that third game.”
Kelly led the team with a season high 58 assists and freshman outside hitter Melissa Fuchs had a team high 18 kills, which head coach Erik Olson says is pretty rare for a freshman.
“I was actually happy to get that W,” Olson said. “It’s pretty rare when you’re down 0-2 and you win. But do I expect more out of this group? Absolutely. Do I think we could’ve gone 3-0 in this tournament? Yeah, I do.”
CMU got swept by Oregon State earlier in the day and lost to an Oakland team Friday in which it beat in 2012. Even though the team lost 3-1, Olson believes it was a game it could have won.
“Do I think we absolutely should have gone 2-1? Yeah, I do,” Olson said. “We should have gotten that first match. We out-hit them, in hitting percentage and kills.”
Even in the midst of the losing streak, Olson says he doesn’t think the team lost energy, but says they were able to turn it up a notch when they were on the brink of being swept in the match and the weekend.
“I do think that our passion showed through in that last match,” Olson said. “I think we remembered how hard you have to work to get the W. It was a process, as we say. The season is a journey and we had to take that journey and we had to learn a lot about ourselves to earn that first W.”
With the Robert Morris/Duquesne Tournament looming this weekend in Pittsburgh, Maxwell says people should expect to see more of the way the Chippewas played in the final three sets of last weekend.
“I see the season going very much like the latter part (of last weekend),” Maxwell said. “I think if we harness in what we did there, we’ll be smooth sailing for the rest of the season.”