Volleyball preps for final home games

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016 at 6:23 PM

The Edinboro women’s volleyball team continues their season this weekend as they begin what will be a five game home stand at McComb Fieldhouse. Coming off two road wins against Cheyney and West Chester, both PSAC opponents, Edinboro looks to use this opportunity to reset as they look foward to play against Mercyhurst and Gannon, the only two PSAC opponents to best them this year.

“I think Gannon and Mercyhurst exposed some things on us, some weaknesses that we have,” assistant coach Jimmy Chan said.

Earlier in the season, in a quick turn of events, the Scots would give up their 21-game winning streak, losing to the pair of Erie schools in consecutive five set matches. With little time to recover in between the bouts, schedule difficulty played a major role, leaving Edinboro with two of the toughest opponents in the conference on back to back nights.

“I think losing to Gannon did not help us going into the Mercyhurst match; the girls took it pretty hard,” Chan said.

“With less than 24 hours to recover from that, mentally and physically, that’s tough.”

Much of the squad’s other success has stemmed from their ability to challenge teams with three dangerous scoring threats: Victoria Severo, Challen Litwiler and Latoya Hutchinson. The three have combined for nearly 550 kills this season, leading expert setter Sydney Trathen to reap the benefits, tallying 848 assists.

“When people watch film on us, they see what kind of sets we use with those three players and it has forced us to make adjustments,” Chan said.

“This way teams are seeing something a little different and that should help us keep things fresh.”

With three dominant players, it can be easy to rely on them to manage certain aspects of a game, allowing the team to focus on other things.

Following Edinboro’s losses to Gannon and Mercyhurst, they would work their way back on track, not allowing the losses to further harm their season or potential playoff seeding.

Chan elaborated on what it meant to come out on top this past weekend. “The week leading up to those next two matches, we really focused on our weaknesses that were exposed and how we would work on getting over those losses from the previous weekend.”

Film sessions play a major role in almost all sports and for volleyball, it’s no different. Set designs, as well as players to watch, are vital in controlling the pace of a game. Player rotations and substitutions that a team tends to stick with (and is noticed by an opponent) can leave openings for offensive runs, or the opposite, a defensive halt of a strong offensive unit.

“We will look at tape this week [and] tonight will probably be the first time we watch film on those two,” Chan continued.

“I think they are two very beatable teams, and as of right now, I think we are the only people who can beat ourselves.”

You can find the results of Edinboro’s final five games of the season here at The Spectator or at edinboronow. com. 

Mike Lantinen is a sports editor for The Spectator. He can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com

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