Eastern volleyball team heads to Dayton Invitational

Sean Hastings, Assistant Sports Editor

Senior libero Stephanie Wallace dives to save the ball during the Panthers' 3-1 loss to Indiana State on Sept. 1 in Lantz Arena.
Jason Howell
Senior libero Stephanie Wallace dives to save the ball during the Panthers’ 3-1 loss to Indiana State on Sept. 1 in Lantz Arena.

The Eastern volleyball team will look to continue their early season success when they compete in the Dayton Flyer invitational this weekend.

Dayton will host Eastern along with Cleveland State and Baylor University.

Through the first seven matches of the year, the team has posted a 5-2 record overall and will look to add three more wins to their total this weekend.

The Panthers are coming off a 2-1 record from the DePaul invitational last weekend. They won their first two matches against Evansville and Toledo, but were beaten by the DePaul Blue Demons in the final match.

Despite the loss, coach Sam Wolinski said she liked what she saw from the team and believes that playing a tough team like DePaul can only help them in the future.

Wolinski added that this weekend’s invitational will be the toughest one yet, and she knows the team can be even better than what they have showed in the first seven matches.

“The bar needs to be raised,” Wolinski said. “We have to keep holding ourselves to higher standards as to how we play and keep bettering the ball. We have to have higher expectations.”

There were a few things the Panthers had to put into their game to get ready for this weekend to help them be successful.

But the team does not want to stray too far away from playing their style of volleyball.

“We have to be the aggressor with our serving,” Wolinski said. “We have to take care of our side-out percentage with our serve-receive for sure.”

The teams the Panthers face this weekend have a much bigger block than what they have seen earlier in the season and will have to be ready to push the tempo on offense.

Cleveland State is off to a strong start this season posting a 6-2 record overall.

“They play with a lot of off-speed shots that they’ve been successful with,” Wolinski said. “We have to be ready for that.”

Baylor is also off to a strong start with a 5-1 record. The Bears are coming into the weekend after winning the invitational they hosted last weekend.

Baylor has a really big block and has some girls that are able to put the ball away. The Panthers will have to also be ready for that.

Dayton has a 2-4 record on the season and has won two straight matches. The Flyers defeated UT Martin, 3-0, before beating Western Kentucky, 3-0, as well.

“Dayton has a great player on the outside so we have to possibly contain her but make sure that we’re not letting their other players go off as well,” Wolinski said. “One player can’t beat you.”

The Panthers’ first match will be against Cleveland State at 3 p.m. on Friday. They will take on Dayton at 11:30 a.m. and Baylor at 2 p.m. on Saturday.


Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]