Slippery Rock volleyball (10-21) head coach Laurie Lokash blames inconsistent play on the court for consistent losses, as she and her team received its sixth straight loss Tuesday at Edinboro University (28-2).
“There are bright spots here and there, but basically, we are not playing well,” Lokash said. “What it’s coming down to is decision making. It’s the decisions we are making once we get a chance to hit the ball, and that has been our problem all year.”
Edinboro defeated the Rock 3-1 (25-15, 25-17, 18-25, 25-12) in the contest. The team joins West Chester, Seton Hill, California (Pa.), Clarion and Indiana (Pa.) as contributors to The Rock’s losing streak, and a streak of not winning more than one set since SRU’s last win on October 17.
The Fighting Scots took control of the game early with a 25-15 win in the first set. The second set brought a similar outcome, as it would defeat the Rock 25-17. The Green and White stepped up in the third set, and won 25-18, but that would not be enough. Edinboro would win the match with a 25-12 victory in the final set.
Lokash said that they make too many errors. The Rock’s 33 errors outweighed their 32 kills Tuesday night, leaving them with a negative hitting efficiency. A lack of patience from younger players is to blame, she said.
“The game, as it gets more advanced, is more cerebral than physical,” Lokash said. “I think what younger players are trying to learn is the cerebral part of the game, and that takes time and focus.”
When the ladies learn patience, things will start to come together and they can win games, she said, but it is a growing process. Lokash said the new things they are trying in practice are not translating into games because it is not working right away and the girls get comfortable with their previous poor habits. They need to be trusting of themselves to do the new things whether it’s the big play or not, she said.
“It’s kind of like if they were hunters,” she said. “If a hunter sees a buck, and there are 12 trees in the way they could either hit the perfect shot and get it, or wait 10 minutes until it walks into the clearing. We want to take the shot.”
One player Lokash credits for learning patience is sophomore outside hitter Leah Jones. Jones led The Rock with nine kills and tallied 19 digs on defense, second behind sophomore Courtney Oberlander’s 21. Sophomore setter Haley Defibaugh contributed on offense with 17 assists.
With only four games left in the season there is nothing The Rock can do to get out of last place in the PSAC-West. They sit five games behind IUP making it impossible to overcome. The best the team can do is fight off its three-win lead they have over Cheyney to avoid being last in the entire Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
The Rock and Lokash will travel to Erie to face Gannon University, who they lost a close 2-3 match to earlier in the season, Friday at 6 p.m.