After bringing home a first-place tournament trophy for the third time this season, the Racers seem to be taking a different pathway in conference play.
The Racers took the floor last Friday against Tennessee Tech and brought home another win. With the win, the Racers improved to a four-game winning streak.
“That gym is a really hard gym to play in,” Head Coach David Schwepker said. “It’s a very difficult gym for anybody to play in unless you’re used to it like (Tennessee Tech) is. To get a win out of there was just really good for us, and I was really happy about that.”
However, the Racers ended their winning streak the next day when they fell to Jacksonville State in the fifth set of the match.
Schwepker said the attitudes of the players are the most important factor in winning a match, which is what he said led to the loss.
“We have some inexperience issues that we have to deal with as far as people being able to control themselves and their attitudes out there on the court,” Schwepker said. “With these young players, they don’t know how to control themselves in those situations and that’s what really hurt us.”
The Racers then took the floor Tuesday night against another conference opponent, Austin Peay, where they fell short once again in the fifth set of the match.
“Again, our inexperience showed through,” Schwepker said. “I was proud of the girls that in the fifth set they didn’t give up. We were down and they just kept playing hard.”
Schwepker said he thinks overall the Racers need to continue working on being more consistent.
Schwepker also said there have been changes made to the Racer lineup due to one of the player’s inability to compete.
“We just had to make some changes,” Schwepker said. “We’ll see how it goes. After it’s ironed out, I think they will be a lot better.”
Despite the Racers’ lack of success in conference play so far this season, they still have three tournament championship titles lingering.
Schwepker said there is a big difference in the way the Racers play in tournaments versus regular season play.
“There’s not as much pressure in tournament games,” Schwepker said. “It’s not conference; we’re sometimes seen as the the underdog and people aren’t expecting us to win.”
Schwepker said he believes the hype of other conference teams is getting to the Racers.
“I always try to tell the girls, do not get on the Internet and read about the other schools, just work on our stuff,” Schwepker said. “That’s all we need to worry about.”
The Racers will see the floor again at noon Saturday in Racer Arena against Morehead State.
Then they have nearly a week off before hosting UT Martin.
Story by Taylor Crum, Staff Writer