Western gets ready to step out onto the court against the Central Oklahoma Bronchos for the eighth MIAA conference game of the season.
The Bronchos finished the 2012 season with a final record of 13-18. This season, they have surpassed last season’s win mark, and are currently sitting at an impressive 12-4 record.
So far this season, the Bronchos have a total 691 kills, most of which come from outside hitter/right setter Barbara Jackson, who has 180 kills all on her own. Not far behind Jackson is middle blocker, Allison Barr, who has 131 kills.
The Bronchos have 963 digs with libero/defensive specialist, Tate Hardaker, leading the chart having 328 digs.
As far as keeping the ball on the opposition’s side, Juliette Smith seems to be the star blocker this season. Sims has eight solo blocks, and 52 blocking assists, which brings her total blocks to 60. The Bronchos have 118 collective blocks. A little over half come from Sims.
Western hopes to maintain their average over .500 as they continue to adjust their gameplay to get more wins.
“Preparation is the same as always. We work on the little details and the big ones. Anything between, hand positions on a block, to movement urging a play,” outside hitter, Melissa Cairns, said. “Defense has been a focus lately. Being able to read plays, set the blocks, and move to the right positions is going to be a key focus for us in our upcoming games.”
The Griffons had to regain their footing after losing four-straight games earlier in the season, and continuing on to lose and win in an off-and-on pattern.
However, they seem to have gotten back on track, and are driving forward for more wins and won three straight games at the Missouri Southern State Invitational, putting them at a four-game winning streak. The Griffons seem to be playing as a family which many would agree is a key component out on the court, “I believe our team’s strengths are our chemistry with one another, our skill diversity, and our work ethic.”, said Sarah Faubel earlier in the season.
But the teams success isn’t just because of the players.
Jessie Thorup had this to say about their coaches earlier in the season “Marian and Signe have done a really good job of pushing us so far this season. They’re bringing a level of intensity that is going give our team the edge that we need to compete at a higher level.”
The Griffons are positive going into the match, but aren’t blind to the fact that UCO is a strong team.
“UCO is a strong team, there is no doubt about that. They are strong all around and are very competitive. I think that even though they’re nationally ranked, we as a team aren’t too phased by that,” Cairns said. “We have a tough conference, including other ranked teams, and every game we have to work hard. UCO is no different. We work hard at practice so that our results show on the court.”
Western will be welcomed to Edmond, Oklahoma on Oct. 19 and the game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.