The Bradley volleyball team opened Missouri Valley Conference play this past weekend. While the Braves previously looked to be hitting their stride, the team took a misstep, and dropping three straight matches. The Braves wrapped up their 10-match home stand with losses to Southern Illinois and Missouri State, before kicking off a three-match road swing with a loss to Indiana State.
Head coach Carol Price-Torok said she is not worried about the teams recent slide; instead, the team is focusing on simply improving.
I think were still doing some really good stuff just like in the preseason, Price-Torok said. Were just continuing to work on our consistency and our competitive edge as we take on some tough MVC teams each and every weekend.
The Braves have fallen in four sets in each of their three conference matches. Despite the losses, the Braves have been the beneficiaries of sophomore Kathryn Graf. Graf posted a career-best 16 kills in two matches and has paced the Braves so far throughout their conference play.
Price-Torok said she is excited with how Graf has produced for the team thus far.
Kat has always been someone that, even last year, has worked really hard and wants to be very good, Price-Torok said. She studies and prepares herself really well. Its fun to kind of see her come into her own right now and [produce] for us and playing really hard. Shell continue to play a big role for us as we move through the season.
After playing at Renaissance Coliseum for 10 straight games, the Braves are now on a three-match road swing, which includes facing off against nationally ranked #22 University of Northern Iowa.
According to Price-Torok road swings can actually help a team regain its focus.
I think in a way being on the road is a benefit. You have a lot more time to think about volleyball and put into your preparation and were going to try and use that to our advantage, Price-Torok said.
With plenty of volleyball left to play, Price-Torok said the teams focal point remains on execution.
Were focusing on capitalizing on opportunities and playing clean, aggressive volleyball, Price-Torok said. Were just taking things day by day and need to focus on being the aggressors during matches.
The Braves face off against Drake University tonight at 7 p.m. in Des Moines, Iowa, before taking on 22 UNI at 12 p.m. Sunday in Cedar Falls, Iowa.