|VB scrimmage in the books|
MOSCOW - The Idaho volleyball team held an intersquad scrimmage Saturday morning, and when it was all done, head coach Debbie Buchanan said she's ready to see her team play somebody else.
"It's really hard to know at this point as a coach," Buchanan said. "You're looking really good, digging a lot of balls, touching a lot of balls, but you really need to play someone else to really see how you stack up. We need to play someone else in a different system than what we're doing."
With that said, Buchanan is pleased with the level of play her veteran team has brought since the first day of camp.
"We told our girls last spring that when we get to camp we've got 16 days until our first match, and when we get there we have got to be ready to go, because if you're not, we're going to be trying to prepare our team for conference through preseason, and we don't want to do that," Buchanan said. "We want to be ready for preseason, and really start competing with teams and get those wins, and position ourselves for an NCAA bid. From day one they've been competing, they're learning and pushing each other and it's competitive, so we're excited."
One thing the Vandals are working on this fall is generating more offense through their middles, including preseason All-WAC selection Alex Sele and 2011 WAC All-Freshman pick Alyssa Schultz.
"Our middles are doing a great job right now and we've really worked with our setters as far as when we can set them and when we shouldn't set them," Buchanan said. "It's a working relationship between the middles trying to run the right patterns and when the setters should set them and not set them."
Sele is excited for the additional offensive opportunities in the middle, and says it could lead to more wins for the Vandals.
"Volleyball is becoming an outside dominated sport, and as a middle, I'd like to see us get more sets because other teams don't expect that," she said. "When other teams have an outside dominated offense, they don't know how to defend the middle attack. So, us middles hit a higher percentage because they don't know how to defend that attack and it's a quicker attack. I think bringing that to our team will help us win matches."
It won't be long until the Vandals will have their opportunity to face a different opponent. Idaho opens the season at home with the Idaho Nike Invitational Aug. 24-25 when they welcome Pacific, Montana and Washington State to Memorial Gym. Idaho's first match is Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. against Pacific.