Wed. Nov 20th, 2019

Volleyball has mixed success

Opening their season last weekend at the College of Southern Idaho Tournament in Twin Fall, CEU got their first look at tough conference opponents. They squeaked one victory out of five attempts. (Not including the CSI forfeit from Friday when they forfeited all their matches.)

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Opening their season last weekend at the College of Southern Idaho Tournament in Twin Fall, CEU got their first look at tough conference opponents. They squeaked one victory out of five attempts. (Not including the CSI forfeit from Friday when they forfeited all their matches.)
Big news of the tournament was not even about a game played, but the sudden firing of CSI head coach Ben Stroud on Thursday, August 24. The cause is a recruiting violation, which also landed the Golden Eagles another season being ineligible for post-season play. Southern Idaho is the reigning national champs from 2005, but also were post season ineligible in 2004 for violations as well.
Friday, August 25
CEU loses to Casper Community College 29-31, 28-30
A match that we should have won, Coach Brent Martindale said. “We played well and were leading 28-26 in game one and lost. Karina Rocha led the team with 10 kills and Maren Ericson had 6 kills and a .375 hitting percentage.”
CEU loses to North Idaho
College 23-30, 28-30
“We didn’t play great, but showed more guts and heart than we have the last 2 years, which is why we stayed so close to a very good NIC team. They finished ranked in the top 10 last year, and probably will rank the same this year. Ericson led the team with 8 kills, Martindale said.
Saturday, August 26
CEU loses to Snow College 15-30, 15-30
“This was truly the only drubbing we had the whole weekend. We just did not wake up for the 9 a.m. match. Ericson led the team again with 6 kills. Snow is really looking like the Cinderella of the conference, beating CSI Saturday in 3 games,” the coach said.
CEU loses to SLCC 27-30, 27-30
“Again, it’s hard for me to lose to SLCC and still be happy. But coming from where we have been the last 2 seasons, we played well and always were in the match with them, and that made me happy. But I still hate to lose to them. Ericson had 8 kills, Rocha had 5 kills and two aces,” Martindale explained,
CEU beats Eastern Arizona College 30-25, 30-23
“Our second good match in a row helped us beat a ’05 ranked team. We played well all around and more importantly, did what needed to be done to win at the end of the match. Ericson had 8 kills, Rocha 7 kills and freshman Olivia Fowler had 4 kills and 3 blocks,” the coach continued.
CEU loses to Western
Wyoming 21-30, 22-30
“We ended the day not on a good note. We looked and acted tired in the 4th match in a row without rest. Some tournament schedules are that way. Rocha led with 6 kills and 2 aces, while Sophomore Ashlie Baker had 5 kills and 3 blocks,” he said.
Martindale discussed his plans for a rebuilding year. “The only things we can build on from last year is the fact that we have four players coming back that had some playing experience as freshmen.   They will know what it takes to compete in this conference and what work needs to take place.”
His seven new freshmen are going to come in and be really energetic and positive, and this will hopefully help build our confidence as a whole team.   They also will give us more depth than we’ve had before, even though we actually have fewer players on the roster.  
The sophomores seem to mentoring the newer players, however, the younger players are fighting hard for positions, so hopefully the older ones don’t feel too comfortable.
In order to be competitive in such a tough conference, Martindale said, “We will need to learn how to be confident and close out a  match with a win.   We already this season have begun to lose leads at the end of a game, and that means we are losing confidence for some reason.   We will have to learn that the team is everything, and that this is not about ‘me.'”
Martindale is excited for his freshmen players.    “Rocha is a great all-around player that has been taught some very good skills.   Fowler is a good middle with the potential to be really good.   Romney is a great setter with great hands and an ability to know how  to run a good offense.   Rudder is as  strong a player as  I’ve ever had, with a great attitude as well.   Rasmussen  is a talented defensive player that has a knack for being all over the court.   Dopey has really proven herself to be  strong at all parts of the game, which makes her very valuable.   King is dripping with potential, and has already shown that she can certainly play at this level.”
 Sophomores are the nucleus of the team and Martindale has high expectations of his four returnees. “McFarland has the tools to be a great setter, and has really improved her mental game.   If she can tame her temper, she could be great.   Ericson is the only returning all conference player, and is a dangerous hitter and blocker.   Young is multi talented and can play several positions.   She will always play an important role.   Baker is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever had, and is quite determined to do well.   She fills an important role as a leader for the middles.”
His coaching philosophy revolves improvement and working together.   “I want more than anything for my players to learn how to be good members of a ‘team.’   Working hard to improve you is vitally important, but it’s not near as important as learning to make the team work as an engine.   A team with character and heart and a love for their teammates can beat a team with more talent any day of the week.”

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