Half-way home, volleyball continues to stun opponents

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Midway through the season, Western has compiled a 13-3 overall record, a 7-1 conference record and is now building on a seven match win streak.

The Griffons began the regular season with a loss to Central Missouri, but since then the team has only added to the win column.

Western contributed to their win streak by sweeping the Pittsburg State Gorillas last Saturday, winning sets one and two by seven points and set three by five points. The Griffons’ current streak is the longest win streak the club has had since beginning the 2002 season 8-0.

Since their initial defeat, Western has swept five out of seven opponents on their way to a 7-1 conference record. That record has positioned the Griffons in a three-way tie for first in the MIAA with Washburn, who was swept by Western, and Central Missouri.

Setter Jordan Chohon attributes some of the team’s success to their off-season training.

“I think a big part of it is all the hard work our team put in over the summer,” Chohon said. “We came into the preseason stronger, jumping higher and ready to go; now we are just playing volleyball.”

One of the keys to being an efficient team is having the ability to win the games against less talented teams and execute the system, according to head coach Marian Carbin.

“When we are just talented, [if we] play and execute in system and use all of our weapons, we are going to beat teams that are less talented than us,” Carbin said.

The Griffons have been able to deal with opponents in a quick and efficient manner, allowing them to play a total of only 27 sets all season, which is second in the MIAA, behind Washburn’s 26.

Efficient team play has led to many outstanding efforts from individual players, including libero and outside hitter Sarah Faubel. During a winning performance against the Southwest Baptist Bearcats, Faubel recorded 11 digs, breaking the record for career digs by one with 1,566.

“It could not have happened to a nicer kid, somebody who has been a positive representation of our program throughout her four year career,” Carbin said. “That is the only record that would be important for her to break, because the digs record is the most important stat for her position.”

As the season progresses, the Griffons expect to keep elevating their play.

“I expect our team to gradually keep getting better,” Chohon said. “We have not reached our peak yet, which is a good thing. So, by the end of the season, I hope we are playing our best volleyball.”

Western has a chance to make history, once again, against the Fort Hays State University Tigers. With a win over the Tigers, the Griffons will have won eight MIAA games in-a-row for the first time since 1995.

The Griffons hope to break the first place tie and, once again, make it into the record books with a road win against Fort Hays on Friday, Oct. 10. First set will start at 7 p.m.

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