This past weekend, Bradley volleyball wrapped up the road portion of its 2017 schedule. The team battled with Loyola for five sets Friday before falling in the final set. On Saturday, the Braves were swept in straight sets by hard-hitting Valparaiso.
On Friday night in Chicago, the Braves fought hard and led two sets to one entering the crucial fourth. However, Loyola took the final two sets by hitting .381 collectively. Senior Jamie Livaudais brought the Braves within one point in the final set, but the team could not take control and fell 15-9.
The Braves looked to come out strong against Valparaiso the next day, but were outscored by 25 in the three-set loss. Bradley hit .028 to Valpo’s .290 during the match.
“I think we have gotten immensely better this season, but it is hard because we have not gotten the results we want,” head coach Carol Price-Torok said. Additionally, she said she is glad that the team has battled hard in competition and executed on game plans.
According to Price-Torok, unforced mistakes led to Bradley’s struggles.
“The team played really well at times but had too many errors,” Price-Torok said. “If we can clean up errors on our end, I think we can have a lot more success.”
Throughout this season, the team has struggled to seize the moment and capitalize on opportunities to take control of sets. However, Price-Torok said she believes in her players.
“We, as coaches, must relax and let the players know they have the skills to get the point,” Price-Torok said.
The Braves will look to keep building on this season with their core group of players returning; Returners include junior Erica Haslag and sophomores Kathryn Graf and Hannah Angeli.
“We have a lot of kids returning next year and that’s very exciting,” Price-Torok said. “We will continue to improve.”
Another returner is junior libero Yavanliz Rosado. In the next few matches, she will likely break the Bradley single season dig record.
“She is a steady player for us,” Price-Torok said. “She gets volleyball, and her volleyball IQ is really, really high. I am impressed with the job she has done balancing everything going in her life and staying focused on the court.”
Next year, Price-Torok said Rosado will continue to anchor the defense.
“We are looking to execute on our game plans so we can close out the season with some wins,” Price-Torok said.
When discussing the upcoming matches, Torok mentioned that the team has played four or five sets against each team and are prepared to challenge the opposition.
The Braves will close out the season with a three-game homestand beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday in Renaissance Coliseum against rival Illinois State University.