Volleyball opens conference play

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Griffon volleyball hosted their first home match this past Friday against the competitive UCM Mules, and it was nothing short of a great game. The match lasted all 5 sets with UCM coming out on top to defeat the Griffons 3-2. Despite losing the game, the Griffons started out the first three sets focused and in sync as if they had the match all wrapped up, but couldn’t rally together at the end to finish off the mules. During the match , it seemed at times the Griffons knew exactly what simple mistakes they were making that was costing them the game. Beating the Mules in the third set 25-9 after just dropping the second set 17-25  you would have thought the Griffons were getting ready to close the match, but it seemed those simple mistakes kept reappearing. Sophomore Lindsey Hartline had this to say about what happened. “ Just closing out the match, we lost some momentum even though we had the lead for a while, but our momentum wasn’t there so we couldn’t close out the match.” Throughout the match the Griffons showed those spurts of momentum which seemed to give them that extra boost at times when they were beginning to fall behind. When speaking to any member of Griffon volleyball, one word seemed to always pop up – chemistry. With it only being the first game of the season, the Griffons are still working on that chemistry and trust with one another on the court. Senior Shellby Taylor knows it’s something that could have helped Friday. “ I think we worked really hard to establish team chemistry and trust the girl that’s playing beside you. At times during this game, we struggled with that chemistry. It didn’t really transfer at certain points, and that could be shown when we had problems of miscommunications.” The Griffons have plenty of time to continue building their team chemistry and establishing that trust throughout the season, and coach Carbin knows this. “We got some new players in the lineup this year that are still trying to find their way and connect, but it’s getting there. Ghey believe in each other and have confidence, so it’ll get there,” Carbin said. Coach Carbin knew her Griffons made some mistakes friday, but also recognized the things her team executed too. “I think we did a really good job shutting down some of the things they did the last time we played them like not letting them have their way on offense, and at times our offense looked really smooth.” The Griffons didn’t end this weekend on a complete loss. Saturday the Griffons hosted Lindenwood and ended up winning the match 3-1. Lindenwood, proving to be another tough competitor for the Griffons, hung in there each set with their largest deficit coming in the last set only losing by four points. Junior Stephanie Doak lead the game with 15 kills, while other key offensive players, Shellby Taylor and Ali Tauchen, were right there behind her with 13 kills each. The Griffons are back on the verge of becoming that elite volleyball team that we are used to seeing. Their next game is Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. against the Northwest Bearcats in Maryville, Missouri.