Volleyball: Team continues tournament success

Volleyball: Team continues tournament success

The volleyball team tied its best start in school history thanks to its third tournament win in as many tries.The team won the Nike Invitational this weekend at the University Recreation Center behind consecutive sweeps of Sam Houston State, Alcorn State and Gonzaga. The three wins raised the team’s record to 13-2 – a mark that ties last season’s 13-2 start. The tournament win comes one week after winning the Molten/LaQuinta Invitational and two weeks after receiving top honors at the Maine Volleyball Tournament in Orono, Maine.

“We have had a good season so far,” head coach Prentice Lewis said. “It is always great when you have a fantastic season, but at the same time, we have another match this weekend. It’s not that (what we have done has been) erased, but now its time to do something bigger and better.”

Sophomore outside hitter Lauren Otto said this has been a good season so far, but she wants more than just tying the record.

“I want to beat it,” Otto said. “I want to get the new one and have the record instead of just tying it up.”

The raised level of conditioning as well as the increased familiarity with tournament opponents are some of the things that make early-season tournaments beneficial, Lewis said. “It is all about getting that same desire, that same hunger out of the team repeatedly,” Lewis said. “I feel this team represents what this coaching staff would like them to be. We have grown a ton, but we feel there are still more things we can work on.”

The team will have its conference home-opener this week against Wyoming and Otto said the team is still trying to gain respect in the Mountain West Conference.

“We were ranked eighth in conference coming into this season,” Otto said. “That’s not really where we want to be, and that’s not where we think we should be. We are excited about going out there, and we have nothing to lose. The only place we can go is up.