The Keene State College Volleyball team is looking at the possibility of having home court in the Little East Conference tournament and hopes to use it to their advantage.
The Owls have performed very well at home this season with a 10-1 record at Spaulding Gym. The Owls have an overall record of 19-8 and a 5-1 record in the Little East Conference. They currently are tied with Western Connecticut State University for the top spot. Head Coach Bob Weiner said the team is more comfortable at home.
“They like sleeping in their own beds and they like cooking their own food. They like being able to go into the locker room. Being home is really great,” Weiner said.
A number of players agreed with Weiner that the team plays better at home. Senior Alexis Michal said being at home during the postseason would benefit the team.
“I think it will be really helpful to have our fan base here and not having to drive on a bus is always nice,” Michal said.
Senior Angela Silveri said, “It would be awesome,” when asked about the prospect of having home court advantage.
“I think traveling has a big impact on how we feel having to drive wherever the game would be. If we were home you are just more comfortable. The other team would have to travel here [and] that would be a disadvantage for them,” Silveri said. The Owls currently are in a potential position to host because of their big win against Western Connecticut on Saturday, October 17. The Owls won the match in five sets. The win gave the Owls confidence heading into the final week of the regular season.
Senior Cat Kazazian said the win against Western Connecticut was “awesome.”
“It helped give us the lift to know that we can do it even though it took us a while to get there. Getting the win showed that we are someone to be reckoned with in the Little East Conference,” Kazazian said. Silveri said the win was a big one against the defending LEC Champions.
“I think that helped, as long as we do our job and play the way we could. We can be a very good team. Overall it just boosts our confidence because I think that is what we needed going forward,” Silveri said.
One of the main reasons why the Owls won the Western Connecticut match and the Oswego State matches during their tri-match was because they grinded it out. Both of these October 17 matches were decided by five sets.
“Earlier this year we would not have survived either of those matches. We’ve gotten a lot tougher, we played terribly in spots in both matches and went okay and recovered,” Weiner said.
For the Owls to come in first place in the conference they need a little bit of help. The Owls need to do their part and win their final two conference matches. The Owls won their match against Eastern Connecticut State University this past Saturday, October 24. The Owls defeated the Warriors three sets to none. As a result Keene State clinched no worse than the second seed securing a first round a bye.
They also need Western Connecticut to win against the University of Massachusetts Boston on the final day of the season October 31. The Owls own the tiebreaker against Western Connecticut who they are currently tied with. However, they do not own the tiebreaker against UMASS Boston as they lost to them earlier in the season on September 23. The Owls, if they get the number one or two seed, are hoping to survive the bye. Last season it hurt the team as they lost in the Semi-Finals to Eastern Connecticut.
“It wasn’t beneficial last year that’s for sure. I will plan some activities for the week that will be difficult enough that it won’t feel like a bye week. We are going to work them hard that week if we have a bye,” Weiner said.
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