By: BOBBY COZZIE
The seats were filled and the fans were loud. Even former Indiana Governor Joe Kernan was in the stands as the Titans volleyball team had their first home game of the season against the Olivet Nazarene University Tigers.
The Titans started off with great energy, confidence and aggression, and showed strong and consistent play both offensively and defensively. They withstood strong barrages of offensive firepower from the Tigers and were opportunistic to capitalize on any mistake made. The Titans often showed much craftiness and some moments of brilliance in their offense.
In the end they were not able to put together a complete game and untimely mistakes allowed the Tigers to cruise to a three-sets-to-none victory, 25-21, 25-19, 25-17.
“They are starting to get comfortable with the roles they’re playing and so I think that has really been helping them,” IUSB Head Coach Jamie Ashmore said in regards to her team’s improved performance.
“They’re getting confidence playing next to somebody…now that we’ve been playing more they’re starting to understand what the person next to them is going to do,” she said.
Even with all the confidence and emotion that the home opener brings and all their crafty play, the Titans constantly found themselves having to play catch-up.
The Titans always seemed to fight back and cut into the Tigers lead, but the momentum gained was quickly erased by service errors, net violations and other general mental mistakes.
In the decisive third set, a point was awarded to the Titans that would have cut the Tigers lead to two at 14-12, but the call was overturned and the point was awarded to the Tigers putting them up by three. The Titans were unable to fully recover after that.
“At practice they come out and compete all the time and they talk a lot and they are hustling and then when it comes to game time they kind of stop that,” Ashmore said.“That’s something we’ve been really focusing on. Making sure that they are being competitive and working hard and talking all the sets not just the first set…and just being aggressive. Keep being aggressive, keep communicating and keep working as a team, I think if we keep doing that it will eventually pay off for us.”
Photo Credit/ Kayla Smith