Coming off a 3-1 win against Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville on Tuesday, the Murray State volleyball team hits the road to take on two tough opponents. The Racers face Tennessee State today and Austin Peay on Saturday.
The Racers were in a two-game losing streak before the SIU-E game and the team looks to carry the momentum into the upcoming matches.
“This is a win that we needed to get,” Coach David Schwepker said. “We will be back in the gym and hopefully we’ll use this as a learning experience.”
Team captain Kayleah Sauer said the win was a plus and the team can learn from the game and take it into the next one.
“Just coming off of a win it’s always easier to go into the next game,” she said. “But hopefully it doesn’t get into our heads that we are thinking that we have already got the next game.”
The two conference matches this weekend will be difficult for the Racers but Schwepker said if they win he will be excited.
Murray State has not lost to Tennessee State in two years. However, Schwepker said the team has matured and turned into a very athletic team to face since their last encounter with the Tigers.
“(Tennessee State) has some very good hitters on their team, that have been with the team for a while and matured in the last two years,” Schwepker said. “They jump out of the gym and hit the crud out of the ball. I think we are going to see maybe one of the most athletic teams in our conference.”
Although Austin Peay may not have had the best start to its season, Schwepker said he believes the team is going to become a strong conference contender. The Governors have been known to run a fast offense, which is how they won last year, he said.
“By doing that it gets everybody else out of system,” Schwepker said. “When they are in system they are very tough to beat.”
The Racers have individual goals they need to work on during the game while the main thing the team needs to work on is building confidence in their skills and team. Schwepker said he wants the girls passing and hitting at a high level.
“We can play well and then all of a sudden we just drop that confidence and I don’t know why,” he said. “We are trying to work on that.”
Sauer addressed the mental focus the team must achieve in upcoming games.
“Go in with the mentality that we are going to work hard but don’t think that you already have the game,” Sauer said. “When you go into a game thinking you already have it then you are not going to play to your best ability.”
The Racers go up against the Tennessee State Tigers at 7 p.m. today in Nashville, Tenn.