Idaho’s offense looks to improve for Friday’s tournament in Seattle. The Vandals will start the tournament putting their 3-0 record on the line against Washington, one of the Pac-12’s top five contenders.
The Huskies will be Idaho’s first of three Pac-12 opponents this season.
Sophomore outside hitter Sarah Sharp said starting the season undefeated is a great starting point.
“Our start of the season shows us what we can do on the court,” Sharp said. “We still have a lot to work on but it’s a good confidence boost to be successful this early.”
Sharp said the team’s challenge this weekend is its confidence level when facing tough opponents on the court.
“The team’s biggest concern is worrying about ourselves, taking care of the ball on our side and controlling our errors,” Sharp said. “It’s the littlest things in our side that will make the difference in our performance this weekend.”
Idaho coach Debbie Buchanan said she’s not interested in Washington’s performance.
“We have to worry about us,” Buchanan said. “The offensive side of the game as far as hitters taking swings, we got to keep working on making good swings when the sets aren’t perfect and keeping those in play. But also continue to increase our hitting percentage, so those are the areas we need to get better.”
The Vandals’ offensive plays have picked up speed this season.“We’re trying to run a really fast offense this year,” Sharp said. “We got everyone with different pieces that we’re trying to combine into our offense. There’s going to be errors but we’re working through it and I think it’s going to be really good once we get (our offense down).”
Buchanan said the team is more active on the court than previous years.
“The one thing we’ve done a good job on is that we’re getting a lot of touches and blocking a lot of balls,” Buchanan said. “We’re digging in system and getting a lot more touches than we have in the past and more passing in system. From that aspect that side of the game we did solid last weekend.”
Buchanan said the team handled the pressure in New Mexico last week.
“We’re still making too many errors but the kids did a really good job emotionally,” Buchanan said. “We didn’t show too much emotion and when we struggled at times we were still steady as far as how we looked on the court.”
Buchanan said staying emotionally steady benefits the young team.
“I think that’s important when you have a young team,” Buchanan said. “Our young kids did a great job of going in and really stepping up and playing. I look for our team to keep gaining ground based on starting a little bit slow with some of our injuries.”
After their 1 p.m. match against the Huskies, the Vandals will play against tournament host Seattle U 7 p.m. before playing Villanova 1 p.m. Saturday.
Luis Torres can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @TheLTFiles