After three consecutive away tournaments, the volleyball team heads into a home court battle with Tennessee Tech Friday. (Sonya Johnson)

By Stephen Hauser

The women’s volleyball learned exactly where their team stands over the past three weeks. They host their first Ohio Valley Conference game Friday, at home, against Tennessee Tech University.The Colonel’s had a fierce non-conference schedule, facing teams such as Cal State Fullerton, UNLV and Pepperdine.

“We learned that we will have to create our own intensity and keep it up throughout the entire match,” Coach Lori Duncan said.

One area of the game that has been a problem for the Colonel’s is finishing games.

“We have the ability to finish the sets and matches, but it’s more of a mentality thing,” senior Autumn Harms said. “We were leading in the first game of the Pepperdine match, but we just couldn’t finish out the set.”

The Colonels played three tough non-conference tournaments away from home, hoping to tighten up for the conference schedule.

“It has allowed us to face the different types of play and different levels of competition,” senior Abby O’Connor said. “It has allowed us to learn how to adjust with the way other teams play.”

The Colonels lost starters Lauren Synder and Toni Michalski to ankle sprains in the Appalachian State match.

“We really need to get both of them back into play, because they are really important to our team,” Duncan said.

The Colonels head into the Tennessee Tech University match with a record of 1-8.

At first glance their record might cause some major concern for most people. For this group of Colonel’s though it is not the case. Last year they started off the season 0-9 and still finished out the season going 9-9.

“You have to keep in mind that conference is all that matters, we get a clean slate,” O’Conner said. “We’ve already done this before and we know that we can win.”

Eastern has to do a few things correctly if they wish to defeat Tennessee Tech University.

“We are going to have to come out and set the tempo early,” Coach Duncan said. “We are going to have to keep the tempo throughout the entire match and we must expect to succeed.”

The Colonels play Friday at 7:00 p.m. and play on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. against Jacksonville State University.