The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

My quest to learn the musical instrument struck a chord much greater than the beautiful sound of a perfect stroke.
I decided to learn the guitar, but I walked away learning more about life
Bella Edmondson, Staff Editor • June 19, 2024

Volleyball fights No. 3 Hawaii to the end

Last Thursday, junior middle blocker Kelly Larkan said that allthe Mustang volleyball team (9-8, 3-4 WAC) needed to get back ontrack after a tough loss to San Jose State was confidence.

On Saturday, the Mustangs got what they needed.

Even though it was a 3-1 loss (27-30, 30-27, 30-20, 30-27) toNo. 3 University of Hawaii (16-0, 6-0 WAC), it was definitely aconfidence booster.

“I can’t imagine this not giving them confidence,and that’s another thing I touched on very brieflyupstairs,” Head Coach Lisa Seifert said.

“It’s like, you know, you know you can play thiswell. We stayed in long rallies. We won some, and we lost some, butwe stayed in the play. And we stayed in the match. We didn’troll over in four. And so yeah, let that be a confidencebuilder.”

The Mustangs took game one in front of a big crowd of 1,440 atMoody Coliseum. It was only the 14th game the Rainbow Wahine haslost this season and only the second time the Mustangs have taken agame from Hawaii in 10 all-time meetings.

Freshman middle blocker Kara Cornelius was a huge motivator forthe team during the neck-in-neck games as she accumulated fourblocks and was always ready to smash an over-passed ball down tothe floor on the other side of the net. She ended up with sevenkills overall.

Cornelius was one of three players who hit at least .200percent. The other two were Larkan with .278 percent and juniormiddle blocker Ashley Zener who hit .267 percent.

The Mustangs played smart and looked for holes on the court totip or hit to. They were quick against an offense that was muchfaster than anything else they see on their schedule.

Both blocking and digging on the defensive side of the court hadto be increased substantially on Saturday afternoon for theMustangs to even stay within a respectable point differential. Andthe Mustangs were more than respectable.

“The speed of their offense is a lot faster that whatwe’re accustomed to,” Seifert said.

“I mean they were throwing the ball out to the pin. Sothat’s difficult when you’re telling your middleblockers to hold base because the middle blocker on the other sideof the net is also a threat. So if we’re to commit on theoutside hitter, that middle is gonna get the ball. So you have tochase that set down and a very athletic outside hitter – youhave to beat that.

“And what I thought we did well for that adjustment was wedug behind it. [Senior defensive specialist] Jackie Erazmus wasawesome. She had 20 digs. She stayed in the hole and she waspatient and she got a lot done.”

The team was stellar on defense with 82 overall digs. Digging atall against Hawaii’s Alicia Abbot, who recorded a career-high30 kills with an almost unheard of .463 percent hitting average,was an accomplishment in itself.

“I was really excited about this game because we justoverall improved as a team,” Erazmus said.

“The team improved in every aspect of our game. We workedreally hard in practice, and we were coming off of a loss weweren’t really happy with after San Jose.

“And just, it was a complete turn around. And being such agreat team like Hawaii, we could’ve just folded, but everyonejust picked up their game and was ready to go and it wasawesome.”

Three players recorded double-doubles in the game, includingsenior outside hitter Beth Karasek with 16 kills and 16 digs.

It was Karasek’s 12th double-double of the season. Larkanhad 13 kills and 14 digs, and freshman outside hitter RachelGiubilato had her first double-double of the season with 11 killsand 19 digs. Giubilato also had two blocks.

“I feel a lot better, obviously,” Seifert said.

“Because one of our goals is to play better every nightthat we play, and I didn’t feel like we played very wellagainst San Jose. And so we looked at the film yesterday and brokethat down. We looked at areas that we could improve on, and I thinkwe played incredibly well against the No. 3 team in thecountry.

“So, hate to lose, would have loved to win that one, butat the same time I saw improvement on our side of the net. Andthat’s critical. Because right now the goal is still the same– peak at the WAC Championships.”

Even though the loss to Hawaii put the Mustangs in a hole with alosing record in the WAC, it’s almost like they got awin.

They’re taking it as a huge momentum change for the seasonand can’t wait to take on their next opponent.

“This is a total confidence booster,” Erazmussaid.

“Since I’ve been here, in five years, we’venever taken a game from Hawaii. And that was just the most excitingthing. Especially for me being a senior, leaving that way. And Imean, if we can handle Hawaii, who can’t we handle andplay?”

The Mustangs are on the road this week with games at Universityof Nevada (12-6, 5-2 WAC) on Thursday at 9 p.m. and at Fresno StateUniversity (9-10, 2-5 WAC) on Saturday at 9 p.m.

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