Costly serving errors lead to Hornets’ defeat

AJ Taylor

The volleyball team’s momentum came to a screeching halt Wednesday as the Hornet fell in three straight sets to the Santa Clara University Bronco on their home court.

The Hornets could not have asked for any more momentum heading into the game. The team has a 2-1 record after upsetting both Illinois State University and the University of Portland in its last two matches on the road in the Corvallis Tournament.

It seems as if the team’s struggles playing at home during the 2009 season have carried over, as the Hornets failed to win a single set against the Broncos.

“We had the same kind of struggles at home last year and we’re trying to get over them,” said outside hitter Janelle Currey, “It’s going to take a little bit of time, but hopefully we’ll take care of it this weekend.”

The turning point of the match came in the second set, with the Hornets down 21-20. All night the game had been going back and forth, and that rally could easily sum up the entire match.

The Hornets fought hard, returning every one of the Broncos attacks, but after easily the longest rally of the night, Santa Clara took the crucial point on a soft attack that fell just between two diving Hornets.

Both the second and third sets were decided by only two points (26-24, 30-28). The outcome-a 3-0 sweep by the Broncos-does not come close to describing the type of fight both teams put up.

Youth dominates the Hornets roster this season. Three of the starting seven are freshman, one a sophomore, and the rest juniors. The team is without any seniors, except for injured co-captain Maddison Thivierge.

Some critics may say inexperience was the reason for the Hornets’ loss, and that these struggles will surely continue, but junior Kelsey Elston said inexperience was not a factor.

“I don’t think (inexperience) had as much to do with it as people will think.” Elston said. “I think that we have a really scrappy team this year and I think that our freshman are just as scrappy as any of us so no, I don’t think that that has much to do with it.”

Elston’s head coach, on the other hand, said he feels he has the answer to why the Hornets struggled.

“I don’t know how much experience (was a factor). We just didn’t do some of the things that we do well.”said head coach Ruben Volta., “I don’t think we served very well tonight, I think that hurt us.”

The Hornets’ serving struggles can’t be understated. The team racked up a total of 24 serving errors in all three sets, while the Broncos had 12.

The Hornets begin their season-long five-game homestand Friday against the University of Texas, San Antonio, in the Sacramento State Invitational. All matches will take place on the Hornets’ home court where the team will have to sink or swim as players face their home demons.

AJ Taylor can be reached at [email protected]