Vikings struggle against TKU
Augustana Vikings Amy Mulder jumps over Kiana Mah for a bump set against The King’s University Eagles during ACAC volleyball action in Camrose Saturday. Josh Aldrich/ Camrose Canadian
The University of Alberta-Augustana Vikings women’s volleyball team is trying not to let this past weekend’s performance shake them too badly.
The Vikings were swept by The King’s University Eagles with a 3-2 (25-17, 25-23, 24-26, 22-25, 15-12) loss on Friday in Edmonton and a 3-0 (25-11, 27-25, 25-9) loss on Saturday in Camrose. The performance dropped them to 3-3 on the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference season.
“(TKU) had a really good game plan, they came at us in a way they never have before and it took us a while to adjust,” said Vikings head coach Greg Ryan.
“It’s something we’ve been preaching all season, we have to be consistent and we’re not mentally consistent enough yet. Technically we were good … but we’re not at the stage where we’ve got enough shots to get us (out of trouble).”
It is important for the young group to keep things in perspective and not let one off week derail the season.
They still had a number of solid performances. Brooke Lindmark had 11 kills and 15 digs and Rebecca Petrie had 10 kills and nine digs on Friday while Rae Metrunic was their top player on Saturday with six kills and 10 digs.
“They’re working as hard as they can, it’s just one of those hard lessons they’ve got to learn,” said Ryan.
“They compete like crazy, and once we get to the point where we understand how to be patient and steady and stable all the time, we’re going to be gold.”
Metrunec is a third-year outside hitter who has given the Vikings some stability and leadership.
“She’s the one who’s been getting us out of rotation,” said Ryan. “She can hit the ball down, and make the shot when we need it. She’s getting better every day.”
Despite the final score this weekend, the New Serepta product is more concerned about how they responded as a team.
“We know we have a lot of fight and we can fight back,” said the math and physics major.
There have been some big adjustments early this season with a number of new players and with Ryan taking over as head coach in the spring.
“It’s tough on them because it’s such a big step from high school or club to this level. I think we’re coming a long way,” said Metrunec, 20. “There’s so much potential. Everyone on the team has skill and we just need to get the mental side of things down and we’ll be unstoppable.”
Ryan is keeping his eye on the end result with this young group, he also has to practice some patience, however.
“I’ve been here before,” he said. “It doesn’t feel very good. A lot of times people look at the score, but that’s not your best indicator of where you are.”
This weekend they host the Keyano Huskies on Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (1 p.m.) with the men to follow.
NOTE — The men were also swept by King’s, losing 3-1 (27-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-20) on Friday and 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 26-24). Rhys Fingas and Jesse Weber led the Vikings with 10 kills each while Fingas also had 14 digs on Friday. On Saturday, Lyndon Varga had a team-high eight kills while Logan Pasishnik had two assists.