Volleyball: Wildcats split weekend on the road

Khadrice Rollins, Reporter


The Wildcats grabbed their first conference road win of the season in the first half of back-to-back games away from home against Michigan (10-12, 5-7 Big Ten) and Michigan State (13-10, 6-6). Following a 3-1 win in Ann Arbor, the Cats fell 3-0 to Michigan State to get their overall record to 14-9 and 4-8 in conference.

“Getting a split in the Big Ten on the road is always a good thing,” coach Keylor Chan said. “There is definitely positives in what happened this weekend for us. We just need to take what we’ve got, learn and continue to move the season forward.”

Chan said the play from the middle was good all weekend, but he noted the passing skill sets were “disturbing” Saturday and that it was one of the differences between the two games.

“(Friday) everything was there. It was a whole team effort” said junior Caroline Niedospial, who had 22 digs in the win against Michigan and 19 digs in the loss against Michigan State. “Passing was there, hitting was there, blocking was there, all the skills were there. Today (Saturday) you couldn’t really name what it was, but it wasn’t there today. Our skills weren’t there today. We came out flat, and you can’t come out flat against any team in the Big Ten.”

Senior Katie Dutchman, who tallied 21 kills over the weekend, said the team’s start against Michigan helped lead them to victory.

“It was the confidence that we had in ourselves and in each other from the beginning,” she said. “It was a team win.”

The Cats were able to jump out to leads in three of the four sets against Michigan, while the team’s only lead against Michigan State came on the first point of the first set.

“We can’t think that after one win it’s going to be easy the rest of the way,” Dutchman said. “Every night is a dog fight in the Big Ten and you can’t overlook any opponent.”

Overall, Chan said the team is looking at this weekend as a good experience for the season but still sees flaws from the two games that have to be addressed.

“On Friday our team performed at a really high level,” Chan said. “We were just hitting around the board. Everyone contributed and did their part. Tonight (Saturday) we had some skill breakdowns and we needed some players to perform better. As a team we need to learn how to carry that consistency from one night to the next.”

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