Comiskey and Black reach milestones, volleyball falls to elite in MVC
Junior Kaitlyn Comiskey came up with her 800th dig against Wichita State and Sam Black reached 2,500 assists against Missouri State, but those accomplishments didn’t matter to the opponents and were not part of coach Sean Burdette’s focus during the games.
Burdette, whose ethics have rubbed off on the team, said he puts the Braves’ (4-18, 0-9 MVC) accomplishments first in front of individual statistics.
“We don’t really talk about those numbers with the team,” he said. “We acknowledge those after the season… and in practice.”
Burdette has made a believer out of Comiskey as well. When told of her milestone accomplishment, she had no idea she had even done it.
The team as a whole was able to succeed in winning a set against Missouri State (15-7, 6-3 MVC) for the first time since 2005.
The first set wasn’t the only set Burdette said he believed the team put up a fight.
“I think we were right there in two of the sets down to the wire,” he said. “They are small victories but we want big victories.”
Burdette said coaches have been complimenting him and the team on the improvements the squad has made.
“[Coaches] are surprised at our competitive fire and our intensity level,” he said.
The team will have to show the competitive fire the coaches speak about as Bradley will have squared off against Illinois State by today’s print.
Burdette said the key things the Braves need to improve on against the rival Redbirds (10-10, 4-5 MVC) is tracking the ball better and serve-receive better.
This time the game was on Bradley’s home turf at Illinois Central College, and Burdette said the attendance may have been larger because of the Dig For The Cure event.
Comiskey said the team needs to play consistently and keep the same energy level as it has in the first set in order to win.
“Last time we won the first match, but we’ve done that a lot and gone to four [sets] and lost,” she said. “When everyone doesn’t believe, we don’t really do as well.”
Wichita State 3, Bradley 0
Sometimes in sports, being on and off the court can give two different perspectives of how a game is played.
Burdette said he didn’t think his team was going to be intimidated against Wichita State.
“I thought that it was a great atmosphere, they had a good crowd there,” he said.
Comiskey, who was on the court, described a different vibe.
“We were expecting for them to come out strong and we were a little intimidated by their height,” she said.
The undefeated Shockers (20-0, 9-0 MVC), who are ranked 14th in the nation, cruised to victory in front of their home crowd.
“I thought Wichita State was better than us that night. They hit better than we did,” Burdette said. “We need to hit the ball better and thus score more points.”
Comiskey became the 20th player in the school’s history to reach 800 digs and is on pace to finish with more than 1,000.
Black’s accomplishment has been done five times previously. Once the season has ended there will be a hole in the team’s scheme since there is currently no setter on the roster.