Team travels east for Indiana

by C.J. Spang

After dismantling Iowa on Wendesday, Minnesota’s volleyball team is looking to continue its hot streak against Indiana tonight in Bloomington, Ind.

Minnesota (14-2 overall, 4-1 Big Ten) has won four matches in a row, all in straight games.

The Hoosiers are second in the Big Ten in blocks per game behind Wisconsin – averaging nearly a half a block more than the Gophers – thanks in part to Annie Moddrell and Mandy Eberle, who are first and third in the conference in blocks per game.

Heading into the match against Indiana, neither players nor coaches said the win streak will have any effect on their game.

“If it does, it’s news to me,” coach Mike Hebert said. “We do spend a lot of time talking about correcting the things that went wrong the week before.

“That’s been our emphasis this week and will remain our emphasis, whether we’ve two in row, three in a row, or lost three in a row.”

However, the fact that the Gophers have started to solidify their lineup does have an effect on the team.

“As the season gets going, we start getting into a rhythm,” senior Paula Gentil said. “Playing more and more with each other is making it easier on us – it’s getting better every time we step on the court.”

Despite the recent success, Minnesota still has a ways to go to reach the level of play the team is striving to achieve.

“Our major goal is, get everybody playing offense well at the same time,” Hebert said. “You can’t have one cylinder working well and the other one burned out.”

But the offense is starting to come around, especially the left side.

Both Sarah Florian and Meghan Cumpston had huge weekends, and have earned starting spots after seeing limited time at the beginning of the season.

“If they continue to perform the way they did last weekend, that gives us one more brick to put in the foundation,” Hebert said.

Another area the Gophers are looking to improve upon is the mental aspect of the game.

“I think we need to focus on the emotional aspect of the game and bringing a lot of energy to the court,” senior Meredith Nelson said. “Really playing like Minnesota volleyball has been known to play in the past few years.”