Redhawks defeat Eastern Illinois in five sets on last home game
Saturday, Nov. 11, marked the Redhawks volleyball team’s last home game for the season. After a long back and forth battle against Eastern Illinois University, the Redhawks came out on top in the end. The first set seemed like an easy win for Southeast, but they sadly came up short in the second. This pattern continued for the third and fourth sets, followed by a big Redhawk win in the fifth.
“I think that we started off really strong, kind of lost ourselves towards the middle,” junior right side hitter Haley Bilbruck said. “But we came back towards the end and finished hard, which was the goal for this game.”
With a roller coaster-like game as this one, sometimes bringing the energy back up after a lost set is a struggle, but senior outside hitter Krissa Gearring said all they have to do is stick together.
“We just talk about getting fired up. Those breaks are kinda hard,” Gearring said. “You have a long time sitting down, but you’ve just got to come back out and stay fired up and just know that you have other sets to play. And don’t think that the other team is just going to let us beat them. We can’t let up, so we just come back out and play our game.”
As the Redhawks advance to the Ohio Valley Conference tournament, maintaining the team’s goals and a positive attitude will be the major factors in their success for the rest of the season.
“The goal we’ve been trying to make this year is to keep swinging deep corners. We keep swinging deep corners, we find success there and just keeping each other high all throughout the game,” Bilbruck said.
Head coach Julie Yankus said some improvements should be made and team goals need to be reinforced before the OVC tournament begins.
“We need to continue to work on attacking deep into the court and finding ways to score,” Yankus said. “Realizing that if we have a big block and finding ways to score off of that so we remain a balanced offense like we have for most of the year. We have to make sure that it’s all about our first and second contact, that we have a good first contact that gets us into the position that can get all of our hitters involved and then our setter needs to make a good second contact to let our attackers go up and get it.”
This game was the last home game for the five seniors of the Redhawks volleyball program. Yankus described the effect those players have had on this team.
“We’ve definitely got a diverse group of five young women. They just all have different families, different backgrounds and different characteristics and great personalities so it’s been awesome to see them develop over the years,” Yankus said. “A couple of them were very quiet when they first got in here and to see them become who they are now it’s really amazing and I can’t wait to see where they eventually go. It’s a special group, they’ve worked hard together and worked hard at leadership to try and establish the culture that we want here. We’ll definitely miss our seniors.”
The team will advance to the first round of the OVC tournament on Thursday, Nov. 16. The time and place of the game is still to be determined.