Women’s volleyball looks for home success

first_imgThis weekend, the women’s volleyball team looks to continue to build off its victories against Oregon and Oregon State as the Trojans face Cal on Friday and Stanford on Sunday. While the Women of Troy are undefeated on the road, their next two games will test if they can get back on track at the Galen Center, where they are 6-6.“I am concerned about playing at home,” head coach Mick Haley said, “because we seem to be able to focus and get organized on the road, but we haven’t done that so far at home.”In order for the Trojans to defeat Cal, they will have to find a way to stop the Bears’ middle blocker Belen Castillo, who led her team to victory with two career-high performances last week.“We think they are playing as well as they have all year,” Haley said. “We think they have found a pretty good lineup that works for them, so we expect a fight with the Bears.”One of the key factors in their response will be freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier, who was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week on Monday. Leading the team in kills, she brings an excitement to the team with her positive outlook that is infectious.“We keep getting better every week” Lanier said. “During preseason, we were getting better and then we had a little dip, but we are building back again and working hard in the gym and are looking forward to some big upsets.”Part of the effort put in during practice has been towards fighting against the injuries that keep happening with the team. Senior libero Taylor Whittingham is continuing to rehab her knee injury, and the middle blockers are working at staying healthy for games.“We constantly have to manage the injuries, but there is not a standard plan,” Haley said. “You take each one as an individual and see what you can do to help them get ready as fast as they can and just be patient.”The Trojans will have all their starters for the Cal game, Whittingham included. She has been continuing to make plays as the staple of their defense, despite focusing much of practice on rehab.“Everyone is doing everything they can in order to get ready and my hat is off to them,” Haley said. “It is so important when you can have all 15 players adding great value to the group effort.”With two more home games following after this weekend, the Trojans look to start off strong with a victory to give them momentum toward their next games. They will face Cal on Friday at 6 p.m. and Stanford on Sunday at 2:2 p.m. at the Galen Center.last_img

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