Cruising into second half of season
The Vandal volleyball team is set to start the second half of the conference schedule this week and will try to keep the momentum of a six-match win streak as the WAC tournament approaches.
Idaho managed to snatch two victories on the road this week with dominating performances over Texas-Arlington and La. Tech. The Vandals have not lost a match since Sept. 20.
“We definitely had some adversity playing back-to-back and having some late nights on the bus and I thought the girls handled it well,” Buchanan said. “… To go on the road and win in four and three is huge, and I think it definitely gives us momentum as we go into this week, because this is going to be one of the tougher weeks.”
The end of the regular season is less than a month away for the Vandals. Idaho is positioned for another high finish this season and will have the advantage of playing five of their last nine matches at home. The WAC tournament will begin on Nov. 18 in San Antonio.
The Vandals started the road trip with a 3-1 win over Texas-Arlington on Thursday, a win that included Idaho’s largest margin of victory of the season — a 25-9 first set win. The Vandals followed that up with another win the next night with a 3-0 victory over Louisiana Tech. The Lady Techsters have yet to win a conference match this season.
Allison (Walker) Baker continued to be a force for the Vandals and has now had double-digit kills in 35 straight matches. Offensively, the Vandals have been getting everyone involved with a balanced attack.
The Vandals will now come back home for a couple of matches, starting with Utah State on Thursday and San Jose State on Saturday. The Aggies are currently sitting atop the WAC standings with a 8-1 WAC record. Their one loss came to Idaho early in the season when the Vandals swept the Aggies in Logan.
“We have to play our game,” Buchanan said. “They run a faster of offense that some of the teams we play, but in some ways they’re kind of a clone of what we do from a defensive standpoint, so I think there’s some comfort there.
On Saturday, the Vandals will attempt to avenge a loss when San Jose State comes to town. The Spartans swept the Vandals in San Jose. Last season the two teams split the season series and the Vandals will try to make that happen again. San Jose State enters the week in seventh place in the WAC with a 4-5 record.
“It’s one game at a time,” Buchanan said. “We’re not even looking to the end of the conference. We’re just talking about the things that we are doing now that will help us when in the end when we get there, but right now we have to focus on one game at a time.”
Kevin Bingaman can be reached at email@example.com