Friday, October 6, 2017 vs. ECU, L 1-3
The Owls lost a hard fought game against ECU at home on October 6. They lost the match 3-1, and fell to a record of 7-6. The ladies played a great match but the ECU Pirates just outplayed them in the end. The Pirates hit a percentage of .259, compared to the Owls .177. The Owls had good turnouts by Izzy Rapacz, who has been playing exceptionally well this season. In this game, Rapacz recorded a double-double with 18 kills and 14 digs. Additionally, Iva Deak had 11 kills, and hit at an amazing .450. Kyra Coundourides had a big game to show for with 39 assists and 9 digs. The team played well and got everyone involved, but it was not enough to slow down the ECU Pirates as they coast to a record of 11-6 after this match.
Sunday, October 8, 2017 vs. Cincinnati, W 3-1
The Owls hosted Cincinnati on October 8, at home for their Dig Pink for Breast Cancer game. The game against Cincinnati was the complete opposite of the first game of the weekend against ECU. This time the Owls had the better hitting percentage, hitting .247 while holding the Bearcats to .160. The team played as a whole through every rotation this time and came out the victors in this match, 3-1. Another great performance was turned in by Izzy Rapacz as she was one of three Owls to have a double-double. Senior Kyra Coundourides, and freshman Katerina Papazoglou had the other two double-doubles. Coundourides had a crucial role in this win, with another huge game, totalling 55 assists, 15 digs and a career high 6 blocks. Additionally, the team had four players who hit double digits in kills in this match. The Bearcats drop to a record of 6-12 on the year and the Owls move to a season record of 8-6 after this win, and are steadily above .500 at this point in the season.
Weekend Star- Izzy Rapacz
Senior Izzy Rapacz has been playing her best brand of volleyball this season. She has 157 kills, 56 blocks, and 92 digs as of now. She played two great games during both the loss against ECU and the win against Cincinnati. Against ECU she hit the ball well at a percent of .235, and got her fifth double-double of the year. Following that match, she notched her fourth straight double-double and sixth on the year, against Cincinnati. During the game against the Bearcats, she totalled 17 kills and 13 digs while hitting .182 through four sets. She turned in a great weekend and is truly leading this team to important wins.
Around the midseason mark, the team looks to truly break out and get into a playoff spot. The Owls have two crucial conference matches coming up on October 20, and 22. They play Tulsa at home on Friday, October 20, at 7 pm. Following this game, they host SMU at home on Sunday, October 22, at noon. Currently, Tulsa sits two games below .500, at a record of 8-10. Tulsa is 2-4 in conference play, so this match looks like it is in favor of the Owls. SMU however, has won six straight games and sits at a record of 12-5. The Owls need to play both of these teams confidently and as a team. They are both beatable and important games if the Owls look to get a win streak of their own established. SMU is currently undefeated in conference play and is additionally 4-0 in away matches. This should be something the Owls are aware of, but should not fear the Mustangs, as anything can happen in conference play. The Owls need to limit their mistakes early in this one if they want a shot at derailing the SMU Mustangs.
Both of these games are must wins as the team only has ten remaining games following this weekend at home. Currently the team sits in fourth place in the AAC Conference standings. They trail Wichita State, SMU, and ECU. The Owls need to continue their conference success, and a win against SMU would be huge.