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Women’s volleyball bouncing back after a slow start to season

St.+Edward%27s+women%27s+volleyball+team+prepares+mentally+before+the+start+of+any+match.
St. Edward's women's volleyball team prepares mentally before the start of any match.

St. Edward's women's volleyball team prepares mentally before the start of any match.

St. Edward's women's volleyball team prepares mentally before the start of any match.

Staff Writer

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In the thick of their Heartland Conference schedule, women’s volleyball looks to build some momentum after two consecutive wins against Newman University and Panhandle State this past week.

The women finished last season with a solid 18-10 record and an impressive 10-4 conference mark. But with the 2012 team graduating six seniors, this year’s squad has started off the season slow, posting a 5-8 overall record while trying to settle in five freshmen.

“Our biggest challenge has been our general experience level,” head coach Sean Donahue said, “We are a bit younger, but we are also a more athletic team in comparison to last year.”

Despite this issue, the team currently sits fifth in the conference standings, with a 3-2 record, and remains just one match back of Lubbock Christian University for a conference tournament slot. After starting off the season with a 2-6 record, the women believe they have weathered the storm and have the blueprint for chasing a Heartland Conference championship.

“In order to contend for a conference title, we need to develop a stronger desire to win,” junior libero Jessica Morales said, “every single point, game and match.”

The team may have lost six seniors — including arguably their best player Michelle Hundt, who was an All-Conference selection and All-America honorable mention — but they still returned nine players from last season.

“Our biggest strength to me is our depth,” redshirt sophomore Amy Jones said, “We have many talented players at interchangeable positions.”

Jones sees this depth as a strong point for the squad that offers them a well-rounded offensive attack.

The Hilltoppers will look to build off of their two game win streak on the road Thursday against Dallas Baptist. Their next home match is scheduled for Saturday, when they face University of Texas-Permian Basin here on the Hilltop.

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Women’s volleyball bouncing back after a slow start to season