The Wildcats went 0-3 in their first tournament of the year this past weekend.
In the first game against Omaha, the Wildcats fought hard in the first set and lost 25-23. Junior outside hitter Katelyn Mueller went down in the first set and couldn’t return for the rest of the tournament.
With the loss of Mueller, the Wildcats struggled losing their next two sets, 25-11 and 25-16, going 0-3 in the first game.
Freshman libero Makenzie Harris said she realized that it would be tough without Mueller but also realized that that her coaches are going to put them in the best positions to win.
“We did a bunch of new rotations of everybody being everywhere,” Harris said. “So our coaches are just trying to prepare us to just be ready for the worst or the best and learning how to play through adversity.”
For the second game, the Wildcats faced the University of Albany. With the the loss of the first game the Wildcats amped up their play at the start of the second game.
They won the first set 25-23. However, they couldn’t keep the lead and lost the next three sets 25-21, 25-16 and 26-24 losing the game, 3-1.
They had one more game in the tournament to redeem themselves against Idaho State. They lost the first two sets 25-15 and 25-14 but turned it around winning the second set 25-22. They couldn’t keep the momentum going and lost the fourth set 25-21.
It was a tough tournament with the loss of Mueller, but there was some positive things that came out of it. Harris had a career high of thirty digs against Idaho State, and senior outside hitter Eighmy Dobbins along with senior middle blocker, Kennedy Shelstead was named to the all-tournament team.
Dobbins said that they learned a lot from this weekend that they play to take into their next game against Rice.
“I think we ended up progressing a lot just through the three games that we did play this past weekend,” Dobbins said. “People were playing new roles and different roles so I feel like people are going to be more comfortable in a different role than they are used to. I think this weekend will be better because everyone is so much more confident in what they did this past weekend even though it didn’t go our way.”
The Wildcats will head to Houston this weekend to play in the Rice tournament. They play their first game against Loyola Marymount Sept. 6 at 7 p.m..