Volleyball, at 18-2, looking to improve on last year’s OAC play

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After starting the season with 13 straight wins before falling to Hiram College, the Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets bounced back with a five-game winning streak, working all the way up to 18-1.

After three wins at the Blue Jay Classic, BW began their task of OAC competition, defeating the Capital Crusaders in three sets, to get back to a five-game win streak.

“It was great to see them bounce back and take out an opponent after a performance that we weren’t happy with,” Head Coach Kacie Ehinger said. “The following week the team came together and came up with some process goals to focus on in practice, I think that helped them prepare better for the Blue Jay Classic.”

After defeating Capital for Ehinger’s first OAC win, The team was then tasked with traveling to Ada, Ohio ,to compete with 11th ranked Ohio Northern University. The Jackets fell in four sets but Ehinger said the team can’t dwell on it too long due to upcoming matches against nationally ranked OAC opponents.

With matches against Muskingum and Heidelberg coming up, Ehinger said the team will have to look at the film to find things to exploit,

“Whether it be people we can serve to possibly get them out of system or disrupt a pattern we think they are trying to run or deploying a different defense against certain hitters to put ourselves in a better position to dig their attacks and turn it into offense,” Ehinger said. “We will also look at their defensive tendencies in our to see where we can possibly attack to create points. We have a very strong serving team who can hit spots very well with a lot of movement on the ball, we are always looking to disrupt the other team’s offense by using our serving as a weapon.”

The team knows they can’t overlook opponents in between those matches though, with matches against Otterbein and John Carroll on the horizon as well.

Neither team is ranked, but they are a combined 29-10 on the season, and could provide a test for the Yellow Jackets.

“We talk a lot about playing in the moment,” Ehinger said. “We stress taking on only the task that is immediately in front of you and when that is complete moving on to the next task.”

In Ehinger’s first season the team is pushing to improve on their 27-5 mark from last season, in which the team fell in three OAC matchups.

Ehinger said the focus this season has been a little different, even though the results have been similar.

“I was lucky to inherit most of the players who saw significant playing time last season who knew how to win,” Ehinger said. “We’ve been stressing the mental side of the game a lot this season as I think that is just important as the physical and was something that could supplement the skills they already had.”

With November rapidly approaching, the team looks to improve on their first-round exit from last season and Ehinger said growing has been a part of that process.

“I’ve loved to see their growth as the season has progressed and hope it will put us in a better position to compete in the very tough OAC.