The University of Dayton volleyball team is preparing for its upcoming match against Saint Louis University, which will be battled in St. Louis by the Billikens on Friday, Oct. 19.
The Flyers are coming off another successful week in which they swept three Atlantic 10 opponents in the University of Rhode Island, Xavier University and Fordham University. Dayton is currently the A-10 leader with a record of 7-0 in conference play.
“We get excited when we see the team improving. That’s when we get fired up to play,” said head coach Kelly Sheffield. “We feel like we are getting better each week, however, we know that we still have a lot of areas that we can improve in, but we do have tangible proof that we are getting better and the team and I are very excited.”
For the 55th consecutive week, Dayton has either been ranked or received votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Poll. Currently, the Flyers (15-4) are ranked No. 18 for the third consecutive poll, including the one released on Monday, Oct. 15.
Dayton is also the only team from the A-10 conference to be ranked in the poll.
All four of Dayton’s losses have come against teams which are in the top 25, including No. 10 University of Minnesota, No. 14 Kansas State University, No. 19 Western Kentucky University and No. 20 Ohio State University.
According to freshman libero Janna Krafka, she attributes the team’s success to continuing its same routine on a weekly basis.
“This week, the team is working very hard in practice to improve our game,” she said. “Our plan is to just go out and play the game and to have fun. My goal for the upcoming weekend game is to be consistent with everything I do during the game.”
On Monday, the A-10 named senior outside hitter Rachel Krabacher Co-Offensive Player of the Week, along with Duquesne University sophomore Arielle Love. Last week, Krabacher averaged 4.5 kills per set and hit .417.
According to Sheffield, facing a team for the second time makes a difference in how the team prepares.
“The team has been working hard in practice to improve their overall game,” Sheffield said. “This will be the second time playing SLU. They are also the first team that we played twice in one season. We want to make a difference to our game plan.”
The Billikens (7-14, 2-5) enter Friday’s match having won two of its last three matches. SLU defeated the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in three sets, 25-21, 25-18 and 25-15 in its last match on Sunday, Oct. 14.
“Right now we need to work on improving our defensive game, both front and back court,” said Sheffield. “We are much better on the offensive side of the game because we have made it our focus. This is what we have been talking about in practice in order to prepare for the end of season games.”
After facing SLU, Dayton will take on Butler University at noon on Sunday, Oct. 21, in Indianapolis.