Lack of home crowd presents challenge

Lack of home crowd presents challenge

After finishing off a 2-1 trip to Florida, the volleyball team hits the road again this weekend for three matches as part of the Maine Invitational in Orono, Maine.The tournament starts Friday with the host team, the University of Maine, and concludes Saturday with a match against the University of Cincinnati and a rematch with Maine. Team members said they are eager and excited to face off against Maine and Cincinnati. Although neither team is part of the Mountain West Conference, both have competed against TCU in the past.

As former members of Conference USA, some veteran Horned Frogs have experience against the Cincinnati Bearcats.

Sophomore outside hitter Lauren Otto said the team is “going in prepared for everyone.” Otto is coming off a pair of double-double performances against Florida Gulf Coast and Florida State last weekend.

With more than half of the team having two years or less experience, head coach Prentice Lewis said building relationships is pivotal for season success.

“We spend more time on ourselves during pre-season because the beginning of the season is so short,” Lewis said.

With this weekend’s tournament more than 2,000 miles away from Fort Worth, the different atmosphere and lack of fan support creates a different challenge for the team, Lewis said.

Otto agreed, saying the team needed to be mentally prepared no matter what the setting may be.

“Fans can play a big role in making it exciting,” Otto said. “But you need the same mental preparation going into the game.