The volleyball team will hit the road this weekend for two matches against ACC competitors North Carolina State and the University of North Carolina.
The squad is looking to improve its conference record, which is currently 2-2, leaving them in the No. 6 position.
The ‘Canes added another loss to their record last weekend after falling to Georgia Tech in a difficult match. They were unable to clinch the win in the final set despite five players breaking their own records.
“It’s great that individuals achieved personal bests, but as a team it was disappointing because winning was within our control,” said Head Coach Nicole Lantange Welch.
The team will be focusing heavily on finishing strong, especially in close situations where they have the opportunity to take over.
“Hopefully we’ll learn from [the loss] and don’t put ourselves in the same position again,” Lantange Welch said.
The Hurricanes will visit two opponents at their home turf during the tour through North Carolina. The first will be against N.C. State, which currently is No. 11 in the ACC. The Wolfpack will be looking for their first conference win this season.
On Saturday, the ‘Canes will face the Tar Heels. Currently, UNC is third in the ACC, having only lost one of its four conference matches.
The Hurricanes defeated both teams in Coral Gables last year. The Wolfpack returned home having been shut out. Similarly, the Tar Heels only managed a single set against Miami.
Traveling may prove to be an obstacle for the Miami squad, who has a far better record at home. Last season the ‘Canes gave up only one match at home but suffered eight losses on the road.
“It’s always tough to go into any opponent’s house in the ACC,” Lantange Welch said.
In preparation for this weekend’s challenges, the team will be spending time on the practice courts to insure readiness against both teams.
“We will be working on ball handling as usual and fine tuning the fundamental details of the game,” Lantange Welch said.
Mentally, the Hurricanes will emphasize the need to complete every match with the same enthusiasm they begin with.
“We need to work on not being satisfied with a lead,” Karla Johnson said.
Although the ‘Canes have encountered a slight setback along the path to the top of the ACC, the season is still early and the squad has the opportunity to excel in the conference.
“The biggest obstacle [this weekend] will be getting over the recent loss and going forward,”Johnson said. “We have to focus on the matches ahead of us, not the matches we could’ve had.”
Stacey Arnold can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.