In my first column of the semester, I talked about rooting for other teams on campus besides the football team and mentioned some programs I thought were poised for success. One of those teams was volleyball. Unfortunately, at this point they team has been stagnant. To the untrained eye, the team’s 3-7 record to start the season points to an off year. But, I’m here to say, hold on– the Mountaineers are not done yet.
The team’s slate to open the year was difficult. The Mountaineers had to travel nearly 2,000 miles to face a ranked Arizona team for the second game of the year and faced tough competition in Duke, Clemson, Iowa State and NC State, two of which were also road games.
The team has competed at a high level almost every time out, including the tough games. The team lost 17 sets by six points or less and seven sets by three points or less. Head coach Matt Ginipro wrote on Twitter that his team is creating opportunities, the team just needs to capitalize more often.
The roster is still strong. Senior outside hitter Emma Longley recently recorded 1,000 career kills during the match against Iowa State. Juniors libero Emma Reilly and middle blocker Kara Spicer were selected as Sun Belt defensive and offensive players of the week, respectively, for their performances in the Duke Invitational. Reilly also recorded 1,000 career digs during a match against Wofford in the invitational.
Slow start notwithstanding, there’s a lot of season left to play. Don’t sleep on volleyball, the team is a sleeping giant ready to wake up.