March 26, 2012
CHICAGO - I'm happy to report that the Ramblers were rolling this weekend and just in time for our biggest week of the season thus far, as we face conference leader No. 6 Lewis University at home on Tuesday and No. 10 Ohio State in Columbus on Friday.
This past weekend we left an unusually warm 72-degree Chicago for Phoenix, Ariz. to battle conference opponent Grand Canyon University. After a morning serve and pass session to get us accustomed to their new gym (it gives Gentile Arena a run for its money!), the team handled their business against the Antelopes who, at the time, were tied for first place in the MIVA conference.
On night one, we were really finding a rhythm the first two games, but made some early mistakes in the third that we could not recover from, falling 21-25. We were able to overcome adversity and bounce back in game four to close out the match. This served as a good learning experience for the guys. There was no lapse in focus on night two. We were very strong on our side of the court all night and took the match in straight sets. Joe Smalzer was outstanding offensively on both nights, and our team defense hit its stride as well, holding Grand Canyon to a .020 hitting efficiency on Saturday.
Our confidence is high and we're getting close to being 100% healthy, right where we want to be before Lewis comes to town tomorrow night.
Go Ramblers! Mark