By Jared Fields, Sports Editor
After two weekends on the road, head coach Brek Horn’s first chance to play in front of the home crowd this year will be Saturday against Wayland Baptist and Southwest Baptist.
The Wildcats host Wayland Baptist at 12:30 p.m. and Southwest Baptist at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in Moody Coliseum.
“No one comes into our court and beats us,” Horn said. “That’s some of the things we’ll talk about prior to this weekend.”
Horn’s expectation to win is not unfounded. The Wildcats have won 20 straight matches at home going back to the 2003 season.
Last weekend in the Premier Challenge, the Wildcats beat two top-10 teams and earned their first national ranking in school history, No. 19, in the American Volleyball, Coaches’ Association top 25 poll.
The competition will not be as difficult this weekend for the Wildcats, but Horn said she still wants to keep the same level of play on the court.
“We have to maintain a level of intensity in practice that we have during a match,” Horn said. “We can’t let it go down just because of the level of competition. This weekend I want to come out strong at home and win all the matches 3-0, that’s our goal.”
Senior outside hitter Michelle Bernhardt said she is excited about her team’s possibilities.
“There’s so many things we could get better at; that’s probably the most exciting thing,” Bernhardt said. “Yes, we did well this weekend, but there’s still that much more that we can do.”
The Wildcats said that after gaining a national ranking, their goals haven’t changed, but their level of play has been raised.
“Now we know for sure the level that we can play,” Bernhardt said. “It raised the bar a little bit, and now we’ve got to work hard to keep raising it.”
After the Wildcats’ first tournament, coach Horn said she felt that her team’s confidence was down. After this weekend, however, Horn doesn’t doubt the level of confidence from the players on the court.
“After that first weekend they were down,” Horn said. “When they went into the Premier (Challenge) we ended up winning that first match, it was No. 6 in the nation, and our confidence went up just like that.”