The University of Dayton volleyball team ended its weekend on a high note, Saturday, Sept. 8, with a win over Tennessee Tech University in
their final game of the Western Kentucky University Invitational.
A pair of losses, first to the Ohio State University, 22-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-21, 12-15, on Friday, Sept. 7, and later to host Western Kentucky
University, 25-17, 21-25, 15-25, 20-25, were the Flyers’ first of the season.
“We played well, but we didn’t play well enough consistently,” head coach Kelly Sheffield said. “When you’re playing against other elite
teams, you need to have all the parts together.”
Since 1980, UD is 1-4 against Ohio State, which includes a match that the Buckeyes later forfeited due to use of an ineligible player that does
not reflect Dayton’s records. The last meeting between the schools was in a 2010 NCAA tournament second round game at the Frericks Center,
which was also five-sets.
Despite the two defeats early in the weekend, Sheffield said his team was able to find out some good things about itself. He said that when it
comes to results, all games go beyond wins and losses for the Flyers.
“We say, ‘Here’s what they exposed, now it’s our job to get better and fix that’,” Sheffield said. “You only find out those things if you’re
playing elite programs.”
Junior right side hitter Shayne Brown hit a career-high 92 percent on attacks, accounting for 11 kills against Tennessee Tech. Her previous
best came against University of North Carolina at Charlotte on Oct. 9, 2011 when she hit 62 percent.
The team’s No. 10 ranking in the Sept. 2 poll from the American Volleyball Coaches Association wasn’t something the players were focused
on as they entered the tournament, Brown said.
“Our team does its best to keep from talking about the rankings too much,” she said. “We know that it’ll change throughout the season so we
don’t worry about it.”
The freshmen are getting better too, according to senior setter Samantha Selsky.
“They’re improving because they’re following the leadership of the upperclassmen,” Selsky said. “Each of these [younger] girls have a good
amount of confidence.”
One of three seniors on the team this year, Selsky has averaged more than 12 assists per set through nine games. Often, the sets come off digs
from freshman libero Janna Krafka.
Krafka had a career-high 29 digs against OSU and 13 per game in the games against Western Kentucky and TTU.
“This team is learning a lot about itself,” said Selsky. “We’ve got great intensity among ourselves.”
Sheffield said that the Golden Hurricane Invitational, hosted by the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Okla., is their toughest of the regular season.
Play starts Friday, Sept. 14 for the Flyers.
“It’s going to be tough for us; playing three games in less than 24 hours,” he said. “Then again, it’s going to be tough for the other teams, too.”