LEHMAN-MUNNEKE: Our last non-conference tournament
This past weekend we went down to Tampa to play our last non-conference tournament at USF.

On Friday night, we played FAU, who we had beaten the previous weekend in three sets. However, we didn’t go into the gym expecting an easy victory because we knew they would come out strong and want revenge. So, we put it all out on the floor and beat them in three again. People always think that winning against a team you’ve already beaten before is easy, but it never is. Although FAU came out ready to fight, we were able to put them down for second time in a row. We ended that night eating as a team along with some parents at a local pita place, which had really good food.

On Saturday, we started things off against New Mexico - who was a nationally ranked a top 25 team. Despite their high rankings, we actually played really well and hung in with them in each set. However, we allowed them 2-3 runs per game, which ended up hurting us in the long run and allowed New Mexico to pull off a 3-0 victory. Because we have struggled so much with allowing teams to go on big runs, we actually made that our goal to work on in practices and games. So, hopefully in the future we will eliminate those long runs and be able to defeat a team like New Mexico.

Later that night, we played USF. They were a similar team to UCF in that they had a good defense, a good offense and were very consistent. We again struggled with giving up long runs, which allowed them to take three out of the five from us. We also had a lot of communication problems during this match, which we plan to improve and work on in practice as well. Despite our two losses, we ended up taking second in the tournament and having both Alison Leoppky and Aidan Yeager make the all-tournament team.

Now, we are officially done with tournament play and onto a few more preseason games before we start conference.

On Tuesday night, we traveled to Daytona Beach and played Bethune Cookmen. We play them at least once every year and it always seems to be a mental struggle for us. They aren’t like the other teams we play in that they are very scrappy (meaning a lot of our attacks were dug and sent back our way). However, despite our mental breakdowns, we were able to pull out a 3-0 win.