The Racers broke their three-game losing streak Friday with a 3-1 win over University of Tennessee Martin.
Head Coach David Schwepker said having sophomore outside hitter Emily Schmahl back in the lineup helped lead the Racers to the win.
Schmahl took a short leave of absence to attend to a minor injury. She returned to the floor after missing the last seven games the Racers played.
“That was a big plus for us, that she was back in the lineup,” Schwepker said. “She had a good game that night.”
Schwepker said the rest of the team had a good game that night, too, playing big at the net and executing hits.
The next day, however, was a different story. The Racers were swept 3-0 by Southeast Missouri.
Schwepker said the Racers’ lack of hitting was the main reason the team suffered the loss.
Sophomore middle blocker Alyssa Lelm and sophomore setter Sam Bedard were the only two players that were positive in hitting against SEMO.
“It was all about hitting,” Schwepker said. “If you look at the hitting percentage as a team, we hit zero. They were all having a bad hitting day. That’s what we’ve been working on, so hopefully this weekend will be different.”
This weekend, the Racers are on the road to face conference foes Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Eastern Illinois.
Schwepker said playing a few away games may be able help the Racers get back on track.
“It seems like we play better on the road than we do at home,” he said. “I think a lot of it is there are too many distractions at home.”
Overall, Schwepker said there is nothing special to winning, and the Racers are not doing anything different in practice. He said the team just needs to be more consistent on its hitting.
“It’s still going to come down to hitting,” Schwepker said. “No magic, nothing special. They are very capable of doing it. It’s just a matter of if they are going to do it or not. Hopefully, they will have their minds ready and get going.”
The Racers play today at 7 p.m. against the SIUE Cougars. They travel to Charleston, Ill., Saturday for a 6 p.m. game against the Eastern Illinois Panthers.
Story by Taylor Crum, Staff Writer