By: Chase Gardiner/GCU Staff
In their first tournament of the New Year, the Grand Canyon University Women’s Club Volleyball team set a very strong precedent for themselves and the rest of the Mountain West Volleyball Conference. After earning the conference championship last season, the defending champs proved that they are more than prepared to claim the title once again as they snagged a first-place finish in the Las Vegas Season Opener on January 19-20.
“There were two key strengths that really stood out for the team this weekend,” noted Lopes’ Head Coach Kristine Naber. “First off, team chemistry was really strong throughout the entire weekend, and secondly, this team is super versatile. We have players who can play middle, left side, right side; setters who can hit and so on, and it gives them a good opportunity to switch things up if they get in a rut, which they did a few times.”
Such versatility has been a vital facet of the team’s success thus far as the Lopes continue to use their array of talent to their advantage. “Offensively, we have a lot of firepower and offensive weapons, but they’ve also become more disciplined,” noted Naber. “(Although) the other teams would have one to three good hitters, we were solid in all positions.”
Despite their strong performance in Vegas, however, the Lopes are more than aware of the necessity to continually improve to ensure they position themselves to be champions yet again. “I think that our biggest weakness is still composure, and although it got better, there were a couple times where we needed to focus on being composed and taking things one point at a time,” pointed out Naber.
If the Lopes can continue to capitalize on their strengths and favorable matchups, while also growing their composure, they will be well on their way to being back-to-back champs. In fact, when asked of her expectations for the rest of the Lopes’ season, Naber responded with just one emphatic word: “Win”.
The women’s club volleyball team will take to the court again on February 24, at 9 am, at the LPC on campus.
Interested in joining the women’s club volleyball team? Contact the coach to learn more!