By Whitney Becker
To open the 2011 season, Furman volleyball made out with two wins and one loss in the Duke Invitational in Durham, NC on the last weekend in August.
The Paladins started off with an upsetting loss against Duke (final score: 3-1). However, they didn’t let the disappointing season- opener discourage them. In their last two matches, they fought back to capture wins against Wisconsin and Charleston Southern (final scores in both games: 3-1.)
Chandler Ambrester, a junior this year, seems optimistic about the upcoming season after the team’s performance at Duke. “We worked very hard physically this preseason and going into the weekend, we were all just pretty ready to play someone other than ourselves,” she said.
“Based on our performance at Duke, I really think we were able to put together things we worked on in preseason and found out that we are an aggressive, defensive team able to confidently go after people and hang with Big Ten and ACC schools.”
“One thing we continue to work on every practice and every game is enhancing our communication and connections on the court,” she continued.
The Paladins’ winning streak continued as the women played Presbyterian in Clinton, S.C. on Tuesday night and came out with a 3-0 win.
Unfortunately, their luck did not continue this past weekend as the Paladins suffered two losses in the FGCU Homewood Suites Invitational in Ft. Meyers, FL.
Still, the team is determined to stay focused for the remainder of the season. Though all regular season games technically count toward their record, conference games are what really matter in the end.
Ambrester continues, “Although it was pretty sweet to beat Wisconsin, that was not our number one goal for the season. Every time we step on the court, no matter who the opponent is, we want to be able to confidently and consistently play Furman volleyball. Our main focus is November and making sure we’re playing our best at the end.
“And with that,” she said, “will come a SoCon championship and an NCAA appearance.”