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Morgan Henning, sophomore middle blocker, attempts to block the ball during PSU’s home opener Thursday, Sept. 5. Gorillas took all three sets from the ECU Tigers during the gorilla classic tournament. Hannah Meier

Volleyball opens season with four wins

The volleyball team won all four games in the Gorilla Classic Tournament against East Central (3-0), Midwestern State (3-0), Western Colorado (3-1), and Southwest Baptist (3-1).  

According to head coach Jen Gomez, the team played well and “got better as (they) played.”  

“I thought we did a really good job of attacking the ball,” Gomez said. “I thought we really put our hitters in positions to score and we really had some players that did well. Erika Ivkov, my senior outside, and Morgan Henning, she (is)… redshirt sophomore, that really kind of shined as far as attacking. I think that we just continued to get better at the things that we kept talking about, the things that we kept reinforcing.”  

Despite losing two sets, the Gorillas bounced back and were able to win the games.  

“Well, I think that that just helps you get some confidence going into next weekend and we really needed that,” Gomez said. “Even though we lost two sets… I think losing those sets probably helped us learn to overcome adversity a little bit and have to step up when things get tight. So, I think though that having that confidence of being able to fight through and come out with four wins should give us maybe just a little bit more energy and excitement coming into this weekend.”  

Gomez thought the entire team did well as a whole throughout this tournament.  

“I thought Brianna Richard, my sophomore setter, did a really good job,” Gomez said. “Marissa Bates, my sophomore libero, played well. I was really pleased all the way around with just the way that our kids stepped up and played.”  

As with every team, there is always room for improvement and Gomez hopes to see the team refine and continue to improve their skill before their next tournament in Lubbock, Texas.  

“Well, I think that when we go there, I think we’re gonna play a little bit better competition and… we’ve got some things that we have to work on this weekend, defensively, that I think we got to get better at,” Gomez said. “I think we have to fix our block a little bit more, but I just hope that our kids can fix the things that we need to, be attentive, be disciplined, and just come out with some energy and play. Whether we walk away with four more wins or however many I don’t care as long as we continue to improve and get better because we need to be really playing some of our better ball once we enter the conference.”  

The Gorillas are headed to Lubbock, Texas to compete in the “Chap Classic.” Their first opponent is Lubbock Christian on Friday, Sept. 13 at 1 p.m. Game two is also on Friday, Sept. 7 and the Gorillas will go head to head with Dixie State at 5 p.m. Games three and four are on Saturday, Sept. 14 against Black Hills State at 9 a.m. and Texas-Permian Basin at 1 p.m.  

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