After an undefeated season start, the Bucs took three tough losses in the Clemson Classic Tournament against Clemson, North Dakota and Tulane.
On Sept. 9, day one, the Bucs went against Clemson and North Dakota. Both games went into five sets with close scores and the Bucs barely losing it all.
Senior Briana Allmon (Flower Mound, Texas) and freshman Kaela Massey (Brentwood, Tenn.) both commented on how the games started slow.
“It was a good effort but I also think that its a good experience for us to learn from and see where we need to be, where we can be and how to perceive other five set games.” Allmon said.
Allmon recorded four blocks on the night against Clemson and led the team in kills against North Dakota, recording 24 in that game.
Coming off some strong wins at the start of the season, the Bucs say it all starts in practice. Coach Lindsey Devine is proud of the caring and hard-working team of girls that have come together, and that makes losses a learning experience.
Going into the weekend, the team was prepared to be challenged and came in looking to improve on aspects of the game. Specifically, Devine wanted to be working on the block set-up, and being able to adjust quicker when it was needed.
“I know that we have more growth and that is the point of these tournaments,” Devine said. “To see where we are and make adjustments.”
Kaela Massey also recorded four blocks in the game against Clemson and six against North Dakota making her the leader in the game.
Against Clemson, Massey said the momentum was lost in the last set and that made it difficult.
“We are really good at keeping the momentum once we get it,” Massey said.
It just took longer to get the connection, and that made it difficult playing catch-up in both matches Friday night.
Devine recognizes that they have to be ready to play strong from point one. The Bucs are a strong passing team and have done well offensively, and that has to be put into action faster.
On Saturday night, the Bucs faced Tulane and lost in three sets.
Rylee Milhorn (Kingsport, Tenn.) led the Bucs in kills against Tulane with a total of 11, and added one ace serve into the mix. Hailey Aguilar (Oswego, Ill.), the librero for the Bucs, totaled 14 digs in the game, eight of which came in the hard fought 25-22 loss of the third set.
The Bucs have one more tournament in Tuscaloosa, Alabama before starting Southern Conference play at Furman University on Sept. 23.