Amanda Boyer/Photography Editor
Coming off a dominant performance last weekend in the Seton Hall Invitational, the women’s volleyball team will turn their focus to the Mountaineer Invitational, where they will take on Montana, Saint Francis and host West Virginia this weekend.
Head coach Allison Yaeger was quick to praise her squad after three wins over the course of two days at home.
“We’re real happy with how we played this weekend,” Yaeger said. “We had some tough matchups. UNLV was a tough one for us. We were very tired having to play three matches before that.”
While the third-year head coach was happy with her team’s performance, she noted the team must take a new approach into this weekend.
“We need a quicker offense for sure,” Yaeger said. “A lot of times our offense gets too high and if our passes aren’t good, the blockers on the other side of the net know exactly who we’re going to.”
The Pirates played four teams this past weekend, something they will not do again for the remainder of the season. Yaeger used words like “tiring” to describe the tournament, but understands tough matches like the ones last weekend and the ones heading into the Mountaineer Invitational share some common ground.
“It’s important to play these tough matchups to get ready for Big East play,” Yaeger said. “It’s good to get used to tough competition.”
Still, this weekend should be easier on the Pirates.
“This weekend will be a little easier because in the first day we have two matches and just one match on the second day. We’re only playing three other teams as opposed to this past weekend where we played four other teams.”
The Pirates open up with Montana, which enters the tournament 0-6. The team closes with Saint Francis, a team Yaeger says her Pirates “should beat.”
Outside of those two, Yaeger says the match with host West Virginia is the one the team needs to keep their eyes on.
“I’d say we really need to focus on that first day and West Virginia and Montana—those are going to be tougher matches.”
The gameplan for this weekend?
Yaeger says the team cannot afford to go back to Shelbey and Stacey Manthorpe constantly—a thing the team has found themselves doing in the past.
“We really want to distribute the ball all over the place and get as many girls as we can involved,” Yaeger claimed.
One concern for the Pirates as they head into the weekend might be the health of sophomore libero Tessa Fournier. Fournier was injured during the UNLV match last weekend.
“Tessa getting hurt against UNLV last weekend really messed up our flow,” assistant coach Allie Matters said. She’s been doing great and she’s very vocal, so we need her out there.”
Matters said Fournier will be available to play this weekend.
The Pirates open up the Mountaineer Invitational on Saturday against Montana at 2 p.m., followed by a match with West Virginia at 7 p.m. The team concludes the tournament against Saint Francis on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
David Heim can be reached at email@example.com or on twitter @davidheim12.