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A&M-Commerce volleyball hopes to work out kinks

Soccer teams gets first win on the road; cross country travels to Oklahoma

By Adam Troxtell
On September 24, 2010



On Saturday the A&M-Commerce volleyball team welcomes Lone Star Conference leaders Abilene Christian University to the A&M-Commerce Field House while on a four game winless streak.

The Lions last beat St. Mary's University 3-0 on Sept. 10, and despite ACU coming in as conference leaders, head coach Craig Case said he feels his team is not nervous about the opposition.

"We can't get too worked up about what the other teams are doing or not doing," he said. "There's simplicity to it when you're not playing well that sometimes you just take care of your own side and good things happen. At the same time, it's easier to be competitive with teams when you're only playing for yourself, but it's almost impossible to beat them. As we get later in matches, teams that don't need to worry about themselves and can focus on us, they have answers to everything and they're going to do things we don't have answers for."

As of Friday practice, Case said he has two main issues his team will work on in order to improve their chances.

"Our first contacts have just been horrendous," Case said. "Half the time we touch the ball, we're setting the ball from the middle of the court, and that puts a lot of pressure on your outside hitters. Our best hitter, Rachel Robertson, is not an outside. We've got a very good setter who makes fast decisions and she sets a fast ball, so we want to be able to get her the ball where she's strongest, not where she's running around having to make good sets out of tough passes.

He said the second issue he has in mind deals with serving. A&M-Commerce had six serving errors in the loss to Angelo State last night, including a run in set two where four out of five serves by the Lions were errors.

"After that, everybody just went into shells when they were serving," Case said about the second set against Angelo State. "The other team just stepped back, they were in system every time, and did whatever they wanted offensively. We've got to figure out a way to be confident and aggressive servers and do some things there."

Despite their struggles in the LSC so far, Case said he still believes his team has plenty to offer.

"The nice thing is we're not trying to come up with ways to win without talent," he said. "We've got so much, I think everybody's got to figure out how to play and be confident in tough times."

After playing Abilene Christian, the Lions take a step outside of LSC play with matches away to Texas A&M-International and Ouachita Baptist. Case said he is going to take this opportunity to make a few changes to his teams positioning, including moving freshman middle-blocker Kayla Bond to an outside-hitter position.

"The approach for the next week or two is to take care of our side of the net," he said. "We're going to make some tactical changes at the end of next week and try them out in our non-conference matches. When we get back after that trip, we should be in pretty good shape in terms of knowing what it is we want to do."


Women's Soccer

The women's soccer team got their first LSC win on Wednesday with a 1-0 result at Texas Woman's, and they continue their road trip this weekend in Florida. The Lions play Lenoir-Rhyne tonight at 6 p.m., and then play Rollins on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Freshman Taylor Hunt got her first collegiate goal and the game winner on Wednesday, and two other Lions received LSC honors during the week. Senior Chelsey Haight was named Offensive Player of the Week, while junior Randi Hafele earned Goalkeeper of the Week.

After their Florida trip, the Lions return to conference play but stay on the road with a match against West Texas A&M on Oct. 1.


Cross Country

After last weekend off, the Lions' cross country team travels to Stillwater, Okla., for the Cowboy Jamboree on Saturday. Senior Kate Donovan said she is particularly interested in this meet.

"It's a pretty intense course and I'm curious to see how I will end up, how the team responds to it," she said.

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