Women’s volleyball prepares for big matchup with UC Irvine

By on September 11, 2013.

BYU women’s volleyball prepares to host UC Irvine 7 p.m Thursday in the Smith Fieldhouse in its final non-conference match.

“They (UC Irvine) are a good team,” BYU women’s head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “They are coming here with one loss on their record, and they will be coming here looking for an upset.”

Sophomore outside hitter Alexa Gray celebrates a point in Tuesday’s win over Montana State. (Photo courtesy BYU Athletics)

Sophomore outside hitter Alexa Gray celebrates a point in Tuesday’s win over Montana State. (Photo courtesy BYU Athletics)

In preparation for tomorrow’s match, the BYU coaching staff has broken down film on Irvine. The coaches feel it is important to focus on one game at a time to avoid getting in trouble by getting ahead of themselves. Their immediate focus is entirely on the team and the upcoming opponent.

“We’re making small adjustments,” junior Tambre Haddock said.

Without 6’7″ starter Jennifer Hamson — who decided to focus solely on basketball this season — on the right side for the Cougars, the team is still trying to make positional adjustments. The team has had to be a little better at some other positions where it usually relies on Hamson.

“We’ve gotten a little more consistent on the left side,” Olmstead said. “We still need to implement more of a middle, and we’re working on that.”

The Cougars’ practices have focused heavily on moving the ball around to different hitters. The coaches say they will be looking for less hesitation on plays, better accuracy with free balls and scrappier defense against UC Irvine.

Hannah George

Hannah George is a sports reporter for The Universe and is majoring in Public Relations.