by Brett Hedges
The Lance – Sports Editor
It may be seven weeks before their first meaningful OUA contest, but the Windsor Lancers women’s volleyball team will be pushing themselves hard during a particularly busy week of preseason play.
Head coach Lucas Hodgson and the Lancers took part in a four-set scrimmage with the Western Mustangs at the St. Clair College Healthplex in Chatham, Sept. 20. Hodgson said the Western match gave Windsor the opportunity to roll the lineups and allow their eight rookie players a chance to shine and develop in the early stages of the season.
“We did some things really well and there were some things that we need to really work,” said Hodgson. “Erin Epema looked a lot better on offense then she has so far, Lexi Pollard looked really good on offense as well. Our biggest things for these rookies to learn is patience on defense and not jumping in where they don’t need to be. Once we get that figured out and our serve-receive down, we’ll be fine.”
After Windsor’s starting six squared off against Western’s and came up short in the first set, the benches opened up and allowed the coaches from both sides to assess their team’s strengths and weaknesses. The OUA regular season kicks off for Windsor Nov. 4 at home against the Waterloo Warriors but Hodgson believes there is plenty of time for the Lancers to gel into a cohesive unit.
“There’s just some fundamental things that we just spent a lot of time on yet because we’re trying to get organized,” said Hodgson. “We need to put in some offensive and defensive installation so we’re still very infant.”
The Lancers have the tough task of pulling double-duty this weekend on the hard-court. First, Windsor will participate in the upcoming Madonna Invitational tournament in Livonia, MI. beginning Sept. 23. Once their final match of the tournament is completed the next afternoon, Windsor will return to Canada and host the Niagara College Knights at the St. Denis Centre for an 8 p.m. match.
“It’s our first home game and we’ll everyone just to see what everyone does under pressure and what they do in certain situations,” said Hodgson. “I think we’re going in the right direction and by the time November comes we’ll be ready to go.”