The Oracle

Consistency is the key for Pipers

Hamline volleyball looks to finish their rollercoaster season on a high note.

Gino Terrell, Reporter

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After a 3-1 home loss versus Luther, a team they beat earlier this year, head coach Audrey Ludwig says her team needs to be more consistent.

Hamline’s volleyball team faced Luther on Saturday, homecoming day. These two teams squared off earlier this year during the St. Kate’s tournament, when the Pipers won 3-2.

Prior to the game, the Pipers were undefeated in nonconference play with an overall record of 14-6. All six losses came from MIAC opponents.

The Pipers won the first set, but during the second set Luther took control with a 17-8 lead. Ludwig called a timeout to help the team regroup.

After that they went on a scoring run, but at the end lost the set 21-25. After losing the third set they found themselves down 2-1.

In a tightly contested fourth set, Luther began to pull away, taking a 23-17 lead. Ludwig called another timeout to fire up the team for one last rally.

“We can beat this team,” Ludwig said. Her talk appeared to fire up the players.

After the break the Pipers scored four consecutive points, cutting down the lead to 23-21. But Luther sealed the game 3-1, after winning the fourth set 25-22.

“It’s frustrating,” Ludwig said after the game. “We played Luther earlier this year and won in five and today come here and lost in four.”

She mentioned that they will get another opportunity to play Luther at the UW-La Crosse tournament on Friday, Oct. 12.

Despite sophomore Becka Mozes’ 28 assists, Ludwig felt the team struggled in their passing and in their serving.

“That’s something that’s been more consistent in our previous games,” she said.

To address the issue she said it will be emphasized during this week’s practice.

“We’re just inconsistent and that’s kind of the deal breaker. That’s why we haven’t been able to beat some teams, because we’re up and we’re down and we’re up and we’re down. We need to be more consistent,” Ludwig said.

Ludwig, in her third year as coach, mentioned that fast paced intense practicing is something that has improved. She said that the team now has more depth and can practice at a very high level, so she expects that to translate into games on a more consistent basis.

She acknowledged that the team’s youth may be the cause of the team’s inconsistencies. However, she said it’s not an excuse.

“We’re halfway through our season and had a lot of reps, a lot of practice; they know the way we train,” Ludwig said. “So it’s on them and expected of them to perform the way we need them to perform. Youth is a part of it but I don’t use that too much as an excuse…they have to be ready to go.”

The team now stands at an overall 14-7 record. Down the road the team will face a few more MIAC teams, which include Gustavus, Macalester, Saint Mary’s and Augsburg.

Their next game is against Gustavus Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

“I feel very confident playing Gustavus,” Ludwig said. “We played them in a scrimmage earlier this year and beat them too. If we play at the level we can play – pass well, stay consistent – then definitely, I expect to win.”

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Consistency is the key for Pipers