Volleyball prepares for meeting with No. 1 California
Sept. 7, 2011
ARLINGTON, Tex. - UT Arlington continues its challenging three-week road trip this weekend when it travels to Berkeley, Calif. to compete in the Hilton Garden Inn Classic.
The good news for the Mavericks is they are just a week away from their home-opening tournament. That will mark the first home match they have played all season and will also signify the beginning of the end for Texas Hall before UTA moves into the College Park Center.
The bad news comes in the form of the No. 1 California Golden Bears - the first team the Mavs face this weekend in Berkeley.
UT Arlington closes the weekend with Saturday matches against Georgetown and Nevada.
"I think the biggest thing right now is to not lose in straight sets," UT Arlington coach Diane Seymour said. "If we're going to lose we need to at least extend the matches. We'll have some tough teams to play this weekend, but if we just extend the matches we might be able to stick in there and win the match. We just need to be a little bit more competitive all the way through a 25-point set. I think right now we're competitive through 12-to-15 points of a set and then we're letting it get away from us."
For the Mavericks to get on track this weekend, they must find more consistency - specifically in the blocking game. Seymour said the team planned to take a closer look at the philosophies and hopefully see marked improvement this weekend.
Blocking has been just one of a few symptoms for UT Arlington in the early going.
Thus far, six of UTA's eight opponents have hit better than .250. Last weekend the Mavericks allowed three of four opponents to hit .300 or better. Alicia Shaffer has continued her stellar play, averaging 4.58 digs per set, but the Mavs must do a better job blocking and get more consistency on the back row to dig attacks.
"We think we have fallen a little bit short so far," Seymour said. "It's frustrating because we are an older team. It's frustrating to them as well because they thought they would get off to just a rip-roaring start and it hasn't started that way."
On offense, Tara Frantz has gotten off to a fast start in her senior year. She leads the team in kills through the first eight matches.
However it happens, UTA knows it will need to be at its best to come away with a winning weekend in Berkeley to return home for its first matches at Texas Hall this season.
The Mavs open the weekend Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. with a match against No. 1 California.