Ehsan Azad / Staff Writer
The grind continues for the Mean Green volleyball team against Charlotte University (10-9, 0-4) and Marshall University (9-10, 3-1) at home on Friday and Sunday as it will try to improve from last weekend’s performance.
After UNT (11-9, 3-1) beat Southern Mississippi University in five sets, some key mistakes and inefficient play factored into a loss to Tulsa University last Sunday.
“We didn’t play bad on the road but we just missed out on opportunities,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “We didn’t talk about mistakes – we talked about missed opportunities.”
One issue in the loss to Tulsa was the absence of freshmen setter Amy Henard, who was benched during the game because of poor play and mentality issues. Palileo said communication is key and expects her to get back on track this week
“Communication with her – about why she came out and what she did wrong and what she needs to do better,” Palileo said.
The weekend’s mishap was an outlier in Henard’s very productive freshman season, as she started right off the bat and now leads the team in assists.
“Being around her, she’s a positive person and uses her adversity to move forward and she has worked really hard this week to redeem herself,” sophomore outside hitter Katie Dudding said.
The team is also without senior outside hitter Courtney Windham, who is recovering from an ankle injury suffered two weeks ago. As a result, Palileo used his bench a lot over the weekend to find the right matchup.
“He expects us to come in during critical times and he needs us to execute for us. He has higher expectations for those on the bench to come out in play,” Dudding said. “You never know who will come in.”
Both Charlotte and Marshall boast a similar 3-1 conference record coming into their matchups against the Mean Green. The players know they must bring their best effort.
“[The key is] holding each other accountable, making sure everyone does their job, no one can take days off,” sophomore outside hitter Carnae Dillard said.
The team plays Charlotte on Friday at 7 p.m. and Marshall at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Both games are at the Mean Green Volleyball Complex.
Junior outside hitter Hanna Frost attacks the ball during volleyball practice Wednesday night. Feature photo by Aidan Barrett / Senior Staff Photographer