Grizzlies return to region action Wed.

Freshman setter Julieta Campana sets the ball during a recent home game. (Missouri State-West Plains Photo)
Freshman setter Julieta Campana sets the ball during a recent home game. (Missouri State-West Plains Photo)

The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Volleyball team will return to Region 16 action Wednesday, Oct. 2, when they host Mineral Area College from Park Hills.

The game, which also will serve as a Missouri Community College Athletic Conference (MCCAC) contest, will get underway at 6:30 p.m. in the West Plains Civic Center.

The Grizzlies (6-14) hope they can correct some of the issues that have been plaguing them this season before Wednesday's first serve. This past weekend, they dropped all three of their games at the Holiday Inn-South Broadway TJC Volleyball Invitational at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas.

Friday, they lost to Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College 21-25, 26-24, 25-27, 25-19, 13-15 and Panola College, Carthage, Texas, 23-25, 17-25, 20-25, and fell to the host team 17-25-25-20, 20-25, 18-25 on Saturday.

Seeking answers

"We have to find some answers to why we are not finishing games, not playing with the confidence we need and not trusting each other on the floor enough to get things done," Wiedemann said. "We're right on that edge. We're so close to winning games, but we keep giving it away. We have to keep working towards finding what persuades them to make a change.

"Being able to play is only part of what makes a team really good," she added. "You have to believe what you are saying and back it up with action. Talk is cheap, and so far all we are doing is talking."

Confidence continues to be an issue for the Grizzlies. "Confidence is such a weird thing. It's not something that can be given to you. You have to earn it," she explained.

"All we care about is getting them to play more confidently, more consistently. That plays a part in finding that piece that gets them to absolutely believe in our ability to finish things," she added.

Missed opportunities

The Grizzlies had several opportunities over the weekend to finish things in their games, but they were unable to capitalize on those opportunities.

"In the game against Hutch, both teams played very well. It was a tight game across the board. They just executed at the end of the sets better than we did," Wiedemann said.

"The mental part of the game plays a big factor in being able to finish a team when you have the opportunity, or at least be comfortable enough to be in that situation with whomever is on the floor, and know you can get it done." Wiedemann explained.

"Panola played exceptionally well this weekend," she added. "They played very fluid as a team and made it difficult for everyone else with how they were executing.

Honestly, they had what we, Hutch and Tyler are looking for in our teams – confidence and playing with passion consistently," she said. "As a team you have to feel that from each other, and when you don't, it makes it hard to understand why you can't get things done when you have the talent to do it.

"Against Tyler, we were again tied 1-1, and we had opportunities in the third set to take advantage, but we didn't capitalize on them," the coach said. "Our mental part of the game has to improve if we want to see things change."

Statistical leaders for the Grizzlies were sophomore outside attacker Kelly Wiedemann with 51 kills, a .296 attacking percentage, 39 digs and 54.5 points earned; freshman setter Julieta Campana with 121 assists; sophomore outside/middle attacker Camilly Cristiny with 9.5 blocks, including six solo blocks; and sophomore libero Emily Moore with a 2.23 passing rating and three service aces.

"We have a lot of work to do, and we don't have a lot of time to wait for things to happen," Coach Wiedemann said. "Our team's work, talk and effort has to be something that is given because they care enough about what is given to them. There is great responsibility when given much, so we as coaches have to find ways to get them to see that responsibility is real and earned. We cannot talk about making things happen and then not do the work to make it happen."

Grizzly Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Grizzly fans will want to mark their calendars for 6 p.m. Oct. 12. Members of the Grizzly Booster Club will induct former Grizzly Volleyball standout Patricia Figueiredo into the Grizzly Athletics Hall of Fame.

The ceremony will take place just prior to the Grizzlies' 6 p.m. game against Hutchinson Community College in the Grizzly Invitational Tournament at the West Plains Civic Center.

Figueiredo was part of the Grizzly teams that reached the NJCAA Division I Women's National Volleyball Championship Tournament in 2008 and 2009. The Grizzlies placed seventh in 2008, but they were the national runners-up in 2009.

"Paty is so deserving of this honor because she was such a great player who made everyone around her better," Coach Wiedemann said. "The love she has for our program, for the university and the community is something special. She was a special player and a special person in the Grizzly Volleyball program."

For more information about the Grizzly Volleyball team, including the full schedule, visit its website at https://www.msuwpgrizzlies.com/sports/wvball/index.