The Idaho volleyball team seeks more success at the Idaho Volleyball Classic this weekend at Memorial Gym than it did last weekend in Honolulu. It’s playing Seattle U at 7 p.m. Friday and will play two games Saturday, starting with UC Irvine at 12:30 p.m. and Washington State at 7 p.m.
After being on the road for three days in Hawaii, the Vandals (0-3) headed home without much rest as they went back to work Tuesday to improve their play.
Idaho coach Debbie Buchanan said playing at home means a different environment because they aren’t traveling to another location, which she views as a benefit.
“They’re [Idaho] probably gonna be the most rested out of the tournament because they are so close,” Buchanan said of Idaho’s rest compared to its opponents’ this weekend.
The Vandals will look for their first win of the season Friday.
Buchanan said there are specific things Idaho needs to work on before playing again this weekend, but it also needs to figure out how other teams play against Idaho.
“We need to maintain our passing in our offense,” Buchanan said. “We need to work on our defense blocking on certain balls…and reduce our errors even in play. So there’s some things from our team play we can take care of but still focusing on all of our matches this weekend, we’re going to see what we can do against these teams as far as what their weaknesses are and what are game plans are going to be.”
Team errors contributed to Idaho’s struggles last weekend, but Buchanan said the Vandals were playing older and more experienced teams that are getting top-25 votes.
Buchanan said management is important to have when facing tougher opponents over the course of the season.
“We just gave up a few more errors per set than they did,” Buchanan said.
Because errors change games, Buchanan’s goal is to reduce those errors by five to six per set after having between seven and 10 errors per set last weekend.
“If you’re in a match and you’re giving up eight points, you’re only asking those teams to earn 18 points. But then if they’re making four errors, now we’re having to earn 21 points so it makes a big difference,” Buchanan said.
Last weekend, Idaho committed a total of 83 errors at the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational in Honolulu.
Buchanan said she was content with Idaho’s passing and the offense in general at the invitational last weekend.
The Idaho Volleyball Classic will start at 4:30 p.m. with Washington State facing UC Irvine. Then the Vandals hit the court at 7 p.m. to face the Redhawks. Idaho and Seattle U last played each other on Nov. 8, 2013 when the Vandals defeated Seattle U 3-1 at Memorial Gym.
Luis Torres can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org