After a comeback victory last week, Central Michigan is traveling east to play in the Robert Morris/Duquesne Tournament, where there will be no shortage of talent on either side of the court.
The Chippewas begin match play at 7 p.m. Friday against Duquesne.
After an up-and-down battle to close out last weekend’s tournament, it can be easy for a coaching staff to grow anxious over new preparations for success. Experience and proper planning, however, can put a staff at ease.
As far as nerves go, this is the case for head coach Erik Olson and the rest of his staff.
“We’ve been doing this for too long,” Olson said. “I know the first day that we have a match coming up, and it’s a process that we need them to snap into.”
The athletes who go with Olson’s coaching philosophy have shown signs of unity already, even though the season is far from being in full swing.
This was highlighted in the tournament a week ago: the team found themselves down early, only to rally and give people something to write home about.
Senior defensive specialist Jenna Coates said in an interview last week the team, after falling behind to start the final match, collectively decided they were not going to just give up and let Villanova take over.
They did not let up and found victory in dramatic fashion, and the team hopes to bring some of the same attitude this weekend to Moon Township, Pa.
“We want to be ready for some good opponents this weekend,” Olson said. “I think our struggle is finding a balance between competing and polishing (our talent).”
All that matters to the players is the challenge at hand – three matches this weekend.
“We track a lot of statistics when we’re playing a match,” Olson said. “Against Oakland, our biggest issue is that we didn’t take care of balls at the net.”
After playing Duquesne on Friday evening, the Chippewas will face off against the Robert Morris on Saturday at 11 a.m. and then will play Xavier at 4 p.m.