By: Neil Frawley
The vacation is over. The test begins.
VSU volleyball team will have a week off by the time it plays Shorter, the best team in the Gulf South Conference. Looking closer into the future, the Blazers look to extinguish Lee University Flames at a home game on Friday.
“It’s a big weekend for us. The next two weekends are going to be really, really big,” head coach Mike Swan said.
VSU beat LU 3-1 on the road in their last match. VSU went on to lose to SU 3-1 in the same road trip.
VSU has won five out of its last six contests since back to back losses against SU and University of West Florida which has moved them up to fourth place in the GSC. VSU could move up to as high as second place if they win both matches this weekend.
“I think we feel confident, anytime we play at home,”Swan said. “It’s great not to have to travel seven to eight hours on the bus and have to get off and perform at a high level.
“We want to play well every time we go out, and we’re finding ways to win even when we’re not doing our best.”
Despite Coach Swan’s recognition of his team’s strong performance, he still thinks the team has the potential to play better.
“I don’t think we’ve hit our peak, and I don’t want us to,”Swan said. “We’re still finding out who can play what positions, and a couple spots that have been troublesome for us. I think we’re getting closer.”
Last season, October was when the team began to fall apart. After getting out to a 12-2 record by Sept. 28, the team went 4-9 before the next time they won back to back matches. Coach Swan, the second year VSU coach, is looking to guide his team around some of the pitfalls that had gotten the team a season ago.
“One huge thing (is) we’re not gone for five weeks like we were last year,”Swan said. “We were always on the road. I think that really took its toll on us. I think we’re a lot more mature this year with the seniors that we have and (with) Nicole and Lea coming in as older players has really helped us a lot.”
The action starts on Friday with the match against LU at 6 p.m. followed by the match against SU at 10 a.m. on Saturday.