Volleyball struggles to compete with top ranked Central

Sports Volleyball

The Griffon Volleyball team lost to 4th ranked Central Missouri last Saturday 0-3.

The Griffons went down early in the first game 0-5, but managed to make a great run to battle back to 9-6. Unfortunately, Central Missouri showed why they are ranked 4th in the nation; they did not become discouraged and continued to play at a consistently high level.

Eventually, the Griffons became overwhelmed and only scored three more points during the first game, making the score 12-25. The second game was much closer than the first, with the Griffons playing on par physically with Central Missouri. Finally, the last game was oddly reminiscent of the first with the Griffons playing hard and trying, but the Jennies were just too much for the squad. The third game’s final score was 13-25.

While the score doesn’t show it, the Griffons played a good and solid game against Central Missouri with a few too many mistakes.

“We played really well Saturday; coach said it was our best game for the week,” outside hitter Kelli Sicner said. “We need to focus more though. That’s our biggest problem.”

Junior outside hitter Meghan Voelz agreed.

“We played a lot better than normal,” Voelz said. “We played to our competition. Although I think if we can fix how we play when we’re down, we could be a lot better.”

The Griffons biggest problem this year is the mental mistakes they make on the floor that gives other teams free points, according to head coach Cory Frederick. Unfortunately, they played Central Missouri, a team that makes very few mistakes at all.

“The match against Central Missouri was a difficult match,” Frederick said. “They are a solid team that does not make mistakes. In the first game, we had scored only 12 points and out of those almost 90 percent we had to score ourselves. Central just doesn’t make any mistakes. We just made too many mistakes without question.”

The Griffons mental mistakes or lapses have taken their toll on the team this season. Frederick had implemented ‘focus’ drills into practice to try and fix the problem.

“I think our biggest problem right now is making mistakes on the offensive side of the ball,” Frederick said. “We hit a season low -.018 against Central Missouri and there is no excuse for that. We have to eliminate those mistakes, and it seems to be more mental than physical. Outside of volleyball I have instituted some drills that don’t have to do with volleyball so that they understand what we have to deal with, but it’s a hard thing to address and hopefully it will translate into fewer mistakes.”

The stat leaders for the night were Hannah Zimmerman with seven kills and Kelli Sicner with six kills. Madison Benton marked 22 assists and Meghan Voelz had two service aces.

The Griffon’s next two home games will be Friday, Oct. 23, and Saturday, Oct. 24, both beginning at 7:00 p.m.

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