The Bradley volleyball team is in the thick of their Missouri Valley Conference schedule, as they have taken on five conference opponents in the past two weeks. The Braves faced their biggest test of the season when they travelled to play the previously nationally ranked No. 22 University of Northern Iowa.
The team was unable to take a set from UNI, Drake or MVC newcomer Valparaiso; the Braves were swept in three sets each match. However, in come-from-behind fashion, on Oct. 7, the Braves picked up their first Valley win against Loyola Chicago. The volleyball women finished their busy stretch taking a loss at Evansville on Monday.
Throughout this rough patch, the team has tried to stay positive. Sophomore setter Hannah Angeli said she believes a breakthrough is near. Angeli notched her team best 15th double-double at Evansville.
Weve had some awesome wins against great opponents, so we know that we have the talent, Angeli said. The key concepts our coaches have been stressing are consistency and focus. If we can maintain our focus as individuals, as well as energy and intensity as a team, we will be able to play to our highest potential and the wins will follow.
Angeli credits fellow teammate Kathryn Graf with contributing the slogan be a frog, jump forward. By using the silly slogan, the team fosters an ever-improving mindset.
I absolutely love the girls on this team and the dynamic we have created, Angeli said. We support one another. The MVC is a very competitive conference with many high-level teams. I believe that every aspect of my game has improved rapidly and will continue to progress.
Head coach Carol Price-Torok views Angeli as a valuable member of the team.
Hannah is a strong person who wants to be good and see her teammates succeed, Torok said. She will do anything we ask of her, and she continues to find ways to get better and put her hitters in good positions.
Coach Price-Torok knows her team will continue to work hard and communicate well with each other in order to improve.
We will keep pushing to build on what we are doing well and talk about what we need to improve on to see more results. We are trying to set the culture as we move the program forward to be a contender in the MVC. Our motto is Brave New Era. As the team grows as a unit consistency is very important. When we are consistent, we look really good, Torok said.
The team will be in Normal, Illinois, taking on rival Illinois State tonight at 7 p.m. seeking their second MVC victory.