Time to win, volleyball

By Christian Mengel

October 25, 2012

Youth -- it’s time to grow up. Every team in every sport has had it. The teams who end up being something special are the ones who overcome it. The ones who use youth as an excuse will become veterans at making excuses. It’s time for Missouri Western volleyball to take what they’ve learned from their losses this season, and use it to produce some wins. This team is too athletic, too talented and too smart to be a .500 team 24 games into the season. There are eight games remaining. It’s not too much of a stretch to say that the Griffons should win six of them. Northwest Missouri State, who is playing stagnant at 11-13, is the next game for Western. Following the Bearcats, the Griffons will face the ass end of the MIAA when they play the winless Missouri Southern Lions, who has a record of 5-48 dating back to the beginning of last season. Truman State and Central Missouri are the next two games and will be the only teams left to play who are guaranteed to have a winning season; the two have just eight combined losses on the season. The last four games are Lindenwood, Quincy, Pittsburg State and Southwest Baptist. All of which are considered average on their best days. If Western can pull out of the remaining schedule with six wins, five of them being conference, the Griffons could likely make the MIAA tournament. The Griffons are currently a depressing 3-8 in conference play. There are five very beatable conference teams remaining that could end up helping the Griffons turn their season around. The top six teams in the MIAA pretty much have a locked spot, as long as they don’t screw anything up. The fight for the 11 and eighth seed is where things could really get quirky. Western is currently in 11, but is about three wins away from jumping up to seventh. All the teams occupying that area of the leader board are hugging the .500 line by just a couple games. The Griffons need to stop playing the youth card to justify an average season. They could really surprise some people if they just play their game, beat the crapper teams they know they can beat and make it to the tournament. The Griffons have proven to play their best when they play in tournaments. Nine of their 12 wins have come from tournament play.