Volleyball hits road to face Central Arkansas
Oct. 7, 2011
ARLINGTON, Tex. - UT Arlington looks to get back to its winning ways Saturday when it travels to Central Arkansas to start its four-match road trip.
The Mavericks (7-12, 3-2) opened Southland Conference play with five consecutive matches at home. Now they face a daunting stretch. Eight of their final 11 league matches will be played on the road.
Central Arkansas and UT Arlington are coming off losses in their last outings. The Mavericks fell 3-0 to Texas State and Northwestern State beat the Sugar Bears 3-1.
UT Arlington acting head coach Erin Clute hopes her team can get off to a fast start on its road trip with a win over the reigning regular-season Southland Conference champions.
"We really wanted to focus Thursday on some of the things we did not do well offensively against Texas State," Clute said. "We struggled to put the ball away and that is not like us. I think we match up well. They have a pretty evenly balanced team with a couple go-to hitters. They play good volleyball, so we will have to control the ball better."
There is a little added motivation for the Mavericks, who were knocked out of the Southland Conference Tournament by Central Arkansas a year ago.
Winning in Conway, Ark., however, is no easy feat. Before dropping a match to Northwestern State on Wednesday, the Sugar Bears had won 31 consecutive matches on their home floor.
Still, Clute thinks getting on the road can be a good thing for her senior-laden team.
"It will be good to get out of Texas Hall and go spread our wings a little bit," Clute said. "Now let's see if we can play well on the road."
At least one career milestone seems likely to come on the road.
Amanda Aguilera enters Saturday's match one kill away from 1,000 for her career. She is also six digs shy of the 1,000-dig mark. If she hits both marks, Aguilera would become the 12th player in UT Arlington history to join the 1,000-1,000 club.
Libero Alicia Shaffer would also move into third place on the UT Arlington all-time digs list by compiling five digs on Saturday. She could also reach the 1,800-dig plateau before the Mavericks' next home match - the Oct. 22 Alumni Day match against Northwestern State.
Saturday's first serve is scheduled for 1 p.m.