Crimson Tide remains focused after loss to MizzouBy Mary Grace Showfety | 10/09/2012 11:00pm
Alabama volleyball has seen its fair share of ups and downs this season. After one of the strongest preseason performances in quite some time, the Crimson Tide seemed to be on the right track.
However, conference play has proven to be a difficult task for the team.
After Sunday’s 3-1 loss to Missouri, the Tide is moving into a weekend on the road as it travels to South Carolina and LSU.
Friday’s match against South Carolina (13-6, SEC 2-6) presents an opportunity for Alabama (13-6, SEC 2-5) to take on a team quite comparable to Alabama. Both teams hold almost identical records in SEC play, with South Carolina having one more conference match under its belt.
At this point, the Tide’s focus is on the matches to come and moving on from its losses.
Senior outside hitter, Kayla Fitterer, said that after a loss last week and the week before, the team is focusing on staying positive even if it does feel a bit down.
Over the past few games, the Tide has dealt with issues of consistency and playing hard for 25 points.
Head coach Ed Allen said this problem is not easily remedied.
“I think this is going to be an ongoing issue with a young team as they gain experience and gain what it’s like to play at this level,” Allen said. “I don’t think there’s a single team that I’ve had in 21 years of coaching that plays hard and plays well for all 25 points. We just want to get closer to doing that.”
The team is so young that it is left with a lack of experience in the high level of competition that the SEC brings to the table.
“I think for us older girls, just staying positive and letting [the younger girls] know that we can get out of this slump that we’re in right now in the SEC [is what is important],” Fitterer said. “And also to kind of forget and learn from the experiences that we’ve had with our losses.”
Having played her fair share of matches against the Gamecocks, Fitterer said that South Carolina has always been good competition.
“I think it’s going to be a really good game,” Fitterer said. “Whenever we go to South Carolina their fans are crazy. So they’ll have a good atmosphere to be playing in, and they’re going to come out and play their best ball.”
With only six upperclassmen on the roster, South Carolina is in a similar position as Alabama in the experience category.
As a senior, the most important piece of the puzzle for Fitterer is keeping the team positive.
In terms of preparation for the road ahead though, the Tide has no plans for any drastic change.
“We just continue to practice and prepare everyday just like we do for any match at any point and juncture of the season,” Allen said. “Our preparations really don’t change. No matter who we’re playing.”
Allen said the main focus of the team will be for everyone to do their own job and to do it well.
After its match in Columbia, S.C., Friday, the Tide will travel to Baton Rouge, La., for another LSU showdown on Sunday afternoon.