Despite losing both conference games over the weekend, the Horned Frog volleyball team walked away with nothing but optimism and excitement for the remainder of their schedule.”The morale on the team is still very high,” head coach Prentice Lewis said. “We know what we need to improve upon and we’re still very confident.”
The team lost to Nevada-Las Vegas on Friday and San Diego State on Sunday. The game with UNLV ended in three matches, but not before freshman setter Nirelle Hampton tallied 23 assists to move into fifth place on the Frogs career assist list with 763.
Sophomore outside hitter Talaya Whitfield continued her strong play as well, recording 20 digs in the game.
Whitfield said the team must continue to learn from each game and apply it to the next.
“Every game is a learning experience,” Whitfield said. “We get to play every team twice.”
Lewis said Whitfield’s play has been a huge boost for the team.
“She dug a million balls,” Lewis said. “She has been stepping up for us, and that is huge.”
The game with San Diego State went four matches, and although they did not win the game, senior outside hitter Hayley Harmon said winning the third match was big for team morale.
“We were battling back and forth and trailed towards the end of the match,” Harmon said, “but we just came out and finished it off and ended up winning that set 30-28.”
Lewis said the team just has to continue doing the things they are doing each week in practice, and they will begin to see positive results.
“We had a great week of practice, but we just didn’t produce well this week,” Lewis said. “We are learning to play as a team. We just have to continue to work hard and come together as a team and we will be alright.”
Whitfield said the team’s showing this weekend was not an indicator of the strong practices the team had last week.
“I felt like we had a tough and good week of practice last week,” Whitfield said. “It’s easy for us to prove ourselves at home, but we have to pick ourselves up and play as more of a team on the road.”
Although players and Lewis said the team has been having problems on the road, they all agree it is a problem that can be fixed.
“The team morale is high,” Whitfield said. “All we have is each other while on the road, so we just have to do a better job of leaning on one another.”
Harmon said the team is eager to get back to work this week.
“We’ll hopefully have another strong week of practice,” Harmon said. “We’re down a little bit but we know what we need to do.”
The team takes on Prairie View A&M and Texas-Pan American this weekend in the UT-Pan Am tournament.
Harmon said the team will welcome the non-conference schedule this week and will use the games to bounce back and regain confidence.
“It will be good to be out of the conference this weekend,” Harmon said. “It will be a good week for us to come together and regroup.
“The games next week will be two for sure wins. We just have to come in and play our game and get these two wins this week.