The Eastern volleyball team has lost seven matches in a row after starting the season winning its first five of seven matches.
The last time the Panthers have won a match was two weeks ago when the Panthers defeated Toledo at the DePaul Invitational.
The Panthers started their season by winning the Indiana-Purdue University at Fort Wayne Invitational, and then took second place in the DePaul Invitational.
Last weekend’s invitational at Dayton was going to be one of the toughest the Panthers would play before conference play starts according to coach Sam Wolinski.
After playing their toughest weekend at Dayton, things didn’t get much easier this past weekend.
The Panthers lost all four matches in the Oakland Golden Grizzly Invitational.
The weekend started by playing No. 13 Ohio State in which the Panthers lost 3-0.
One player that had a strong match was sophomore Maria Brown. Brown led the team with 13 kills and 15 digs. Even though the Panthers lost, Brown’s 13 kills led everyone on the Ohio State roster as well.
“I think we have played some tough competition,” Wolinski said. “We just haven’t come out on the winning end. I think at times we are doing what we need to do, we just have to find a way to finish right now.”
She added that the Panthers are a little banged up right now and that also plays into it.
After losing to Ohio State, the Panthers were defeated by host Oakland.
The Panthers won the first to sets of the match only needing one more to get the match win, but Oakland won three straight to make the comeback.
Dartmouth was the next team to beat the Panthers as they won 3-1. Eastern lost the first set and won the second. But Dartmouth won the next two to get the win.
The Panthers were able to force a fifth set with Western Michigan after losing the first two sets. The Broncos won the fifth set 15-9.
Wolinski also mentioned that senior captain Stephanie Wallace, and freshman Taylor Smith were strong all weekend long. Wallace had a good weekend in the back row, and Smith’s versatility was shown as she was able to do a lot for the Panthers over the weekend.
Next up for the Panthers will be Tennessee Tech to start conference play and the Panthers know that they have to improve their consistency in all areas.
“It’s just a matter of putting all that together so that we can finish the matches and get a couple wins,” Wolinski said.
All the games the Panthers have played do not count towards there conference record and they are motivated to get playing for real.
Wolinski said that starting Monday, it’s a new season.
“The record is 0-0, that’s what everybody is heading into OVC play so it’s time to get better at a couple things,” Wolinski said.
Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]