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The ladies lose 23-25, 22-25, 25-23, 24-26 on the road against IPFW.  As the scores suggest, the match was close throughout.  We had a good chance in the fourth set to get it to a fifth, taking a 14-6 lead, but we couldn't hold it.  Eight hitting errors and two service errors over the rest of the set doomed our efforts to extend the match.  We did save one match point with a combined block to tie the score at 24-all but we had a service error and they served for an ace to clinch match point.


Without the unforced errors we committed, the outcome likely would've been different.  We continue to struggle on our serve, with 13 service errors, while also giving up seven aces to IPFW.  That's 20 free points to our opponent in a match where we lost the three sets by a total of seven points.  


Sara Pope led with 14 kills, hitting .312.  Shelby Cox hit .529 (11 kills-2 errors-17 attempts) and had three blocks.  Laura Milos had ten kills.  Jovana Poljasevic had seven kills and five blocks.  Kylie Johnson led the team with 15 digs.


Milos doesn't seem "right" and hasn't been as consistent with her hitting since her unbelievable 38-kill match at Arkansas just over a month ago.  It could be a lot of things- opponents defending her attack with more focus or a lack of adjusting to opposing defenses to get her open more by the coaches; freshman ups and downs, as freshman can tend to be inconsistent in performance at times; fatigue- maybe all of the swings she took in the first eight matches have caught up to her?  Hard to say, it could be one or more.  


The team also seems off.  Since the win at Arkansas we are only 3-7 overall, and we've been unable to win on the road since then, going 0-5.  Early in the season we were winning more of the close sets.  Not sure if it's an issue with lagging confidence, since losing does take a toll on a team and on individual psyches, or problems with rotations which result in not maximizing the strengths of the players consistently throughout each match, or a lack of executing.  I'm definitely worried about this team, even though we're only two matches under .500.  With the talent we have our record should be better.


Overall we're 8-10 (2-3 in the Summit).


Next up:  We host North Dakota State this Sunday at 12:30pm CT at the Aerobics Center.  Go Eagles!!





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