Volleyball vies for strong finish
Sports

Volleyball vies for strong finish

Belmont volleyball is off to a rough start, but the team still has its sights set on the NCAA tournament after coming up short last year.

The Bruins (6-11, 0-1 Atlantic Sun) have not had it easy in the early stages of their schedule, losing to opponents such as Notre Dame, Nevada and Purdue.

“We’re getting challenged, and we’re getting better,” Bruins head coach Dean Webb said.

Despite the early rough patch, Webb is still confident that there is room to improve.

“This is our preparation. Once we start closing matches we’ll be OK,” Webb said.

Finishing strong was exactly what the team did against Weber State in the Nevada Invitational, winning the last set 15-4 en route to giving Webb his 300th career win.

Webb left the Weber State game out from his list of noteworthy performances thus far, instead focusing on the Notre Dame match. Webb called the match “an indication that we can compete with anyone.” The Bruins lost the match in five sets after leading 2-1 against the top-25 opponent.

With five freshmen and five seniors, the team has the recipe to look experienced at times, and inexperienced at others. “It’s an unusual team makeup,” he said.

Webb also pointed out the leadership of Belmont seniors Carly Frazier, Ester Mellado, Tara Blood, Megan Clements, and Kayla Albritton.

“They’re doing a great job; it has to continue,” Webb said.

As the season progresses into conference play, Webb believes Belmont has a chance to repeat their 2008 NCAA tournament appearance.

“We definitely have the ability, we just need discipline defensively,” Webb said.

The Bruins return home to the Curb Event Center for two key matches this weekend. Belmont competes against Kennesaw State on Friday and Mercer on Saturday.

Kennesaw State is 7-8 on the season, but has yet to play a conference game. Mercer comes into the match with a 6-11 record, having played tough non-conference games against Washington, Auburn, and NC State.