More than four months after their last match, the Broncs returned to the volleyball court March 29 to host a spring tournament at the Field House; each match consisted of two sets of 25. The Broncs faced the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Coastal Bend College, Texas A&M University-Kingsville and The University of Texas at Brownsville in the first of three spring events for the semester.
Head Coach Brian Yale saw some good things from the tournament and some things they could work on as the Broncs struggled through the tournament, losing one match, winning one and tying two matches. The winning match was against Coastal Bend as the Broncs (1-1-2) took both sets.
Yale vows that the women are going to continue to improve and get ready for upcoming tournaments in the next couple of weeks.
Preparation for the regular season has begun as the team seeks to better last fall’s 13–20 record.
“We got about four to five more weeks to improve to get ready for the fall,” Yale said. “(Communication is) a working process, it is something we talk about weekly in practice. There were definitely some moments of a communication breakdown, which I am not happy with, and it caused a little bit of problems for us.”
According to Yale, the team was able to get good repetitions in this competition, especially since it was their first action since a 3-0 loss to California State University Bakersfield in November.
“For all the teams, it’s a different kind of conditioning, playing that many sets in a row with a little break here and there,” Yale said. “It is definitely different than how practice has been.”
The event was a first for Lauren Mathewson, the newest addition to the coaching staff, who graduated in 2011 from Kansas State with a marketing degree. She was one of the top liberos in Wildcat history and joined the team April 15. Liberos are defensive specialists, they need to be able to dig well, get a hand on every ball that comes their way and keep the play alive. Mathewson is in charge of the liberos, outside hitters, recruiting and organizing summer youth camps. The camps will take place throughout July; three position camps, a two-day all-skills camp and a team competition camp.
“I am very excited and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Broncs volleyball team as an assistant coach,” Mathewson said. “I was immediately drawn to Coach Yale’s passion for coaching and his attention to detail.”
Next tournament for the Broncs is April 5 when they travel to Houston to compete in an event hosted by the Fundamental Athletic Sports Training Complex and Houston Junior’s Volleyball Club at the Reliant Center next to Reliant Stadium.
The Broncs will face off against Houston Baptist, Texas Southern, Louisiana-Lafayette and the University of North Texas.
“This tournament was the first one of the semester and one to get all the jitters out of the way and working on new relationships,” Yale said. “We will be better next week in Houston and the week after that we will be better in San Antonio, so it is a building process.”