Last weekend, the Bradley volleyball team opened its 2019 home schedule with two wins and a tournament title.
Make no mistake, it marked a successful showing for the Braves’ in their first homestand of the season. But the team’s record now stands at 2-4 entering the UIC Invitational, knows that work remains to be done.
The team opened the CEFCU Invitational with wins over Belmont and Oakland on Sept. 6 before falling to DePaul the following afternoon. With Friday’s wins coming in three and four sets, respectively, the Braves were able to clinch the tournament title despite only claiming one set in the match with DePaul.
After the loss to DePaul, head coach Carol Price-Torok cited the Braves’ often-inconsistent play as something that the team must work to overcome.
“It’s good to see how high our team can go,” Price-Torok said. “I think we need to continue to generate [an idea of] who are those constants? Who are the people that we can count on and who are the people that can produce those kills?”
Price-Torok said the team needs to settle in and bring a consistent effort each match.
“We saw glimpses of it and it was really fun [on Friday], but we have to make sure that we can bring it two days back-to-back,” Price-Torok said.
Sophomore Hannah Thompson and redshirt-senior Maggie Revell represented Bradley on the all-tournament team. Thompson led the Braves in kills per set (3.64) and digs per set (3.73) over the weekend, while Revell collected an even 2 digs per set and hit a .381 hitting percentage over the three-game span.
“I think we played really well this weekend,” Revell said. “[Friday’s match against Oakland] was a great match, we were so appreciative for all the fans to come out and support us. We had great energy and playing as a team [on Friday night] was great.”
The Braves’ loss to DePaul now means they have as many home losses through three home matches in 2019 as they did through 15 matches in 2018: one.
“Here at Bradley, I think we have a really great support system and we love defending our home court,” Revell said. “Coming out on our home opening night, it was great.”
The Braves’ attention now turns to the UIC Invitational, where they will face host UIC along with Sacramento State and Murray State. The Braves and Flames will meet tonight, with matches against the Hornets and Racers to follow tomorrow.
“I think the big thing is just consistency,” Price-Torok said ahead of this weekend’s tournament. “Getting our people who we need to score points consistent, figuring out our serving and passing consistency … we just have to make sure we can have that mindframe of being able to make adjustments and work on that consistency.”
The match between the Braves and the Flames will begin at 7 p.m. tonight.