he volleyball team won its home opener on Tuesday, defeating Arkansas-Fort Smith 3-1 for the team’s 24th consecutive home win.
The Lady Bisons got off to a slow start, winning the first set 25-23 before losing the second set14-25 to the strength of a 10-0 run from the Lady Lions.
The team responded in a big way in the third set, winning 25-20 with 16 kills. Senior Taryn Eubank led the rally, tallying 15 assists in the third set after averaging 10 assists in the first two. Senior Liv Savage doubled her kill total, recording five kills in that set. According to Eubank, the team began playing with a different rhythm than they had in the first two sets.
“We didn’t like that loss in the second game, so we really got it going,” Eubank said. “We were making our own points, we were running with it and playing our game. We were really in control.”
According to head coach Meredith Fear, the team just needed a moment to slow down and find its rhythm.
“We weren’t playing well,” Fear said. “(Arkansas-Fort Smith) didn’t earn many of their points. We were giving them points. It was really just calming down a little and playing under control.”
The Lady Bisons took control of the fourth set early, building a 15-8 lead with runs of 5-0 and 4-0. They capped the match with a 5-1 run for a 25-18 win to secure the team’s sixth win of the season.
The victory came off a weekend in which the Lady Bisons lost two of their three matches. According to Eubank, the weekend’s result served as a motivator against the Lady Lions.
“We really were hungry for the win,” Eubank said. “We came out and played as hard as we could and it showed on the court.”
Eubank’s 47-assist performance came after being named GAC Setter of the Week last weekend. Savage, who was named GC Defensive Player of the Week earlier this month, finished the match with 14 kills and four blocks.
According to Fear, conference awards for individual players are a result of good team play and strengthen the entire team.
“To be recognized on the conference level is a confidence boost for the whole team,” Fear said. “It’s recognition for the whole team as well as those individual players.”
Fear said that while the season is just beginning, Tuesday’s win against a strong team bodes well for the conference season.
“I’m seeing improvement each match and seeing their confidence grow,” Fear said. “We’re getting where we need to go.”