Updated Tue, Aug 14, 2012 6:06 pm
Ohio Volleyball will not play one, or two, but four ranked teams in the AVCA top 25 within the first two weeks of the season.
The Bobcats will see No. 11 Pepperdine and No. 7 Illinois in Dayton during the first weekend of the season. No. 13 Kentucky and No. 20 Oregon pay a visit to the Convo the very next weekend.
With a week of preseason camp under their belts, the 'Cats haven't begun to look ahead to these big matches. Right now, the team's focus remains internal.
"I’d say right now we are really focused on ourselves," middle blocker Lexie Hartnett said. "Improving our game, getting our offense ready."
"Right now we are still focusing on us," head coach Ryan Theis said. "We know going into the opening weekend we will have three extremely difficult matches. We’ve got some great opponents coming into the convo. It’s a little too early for that gear."
The team is using this time early in camp to bring all the pieces together.
"We are a week in and we are working a lot of service pressure and getting more kills," setter Leah Petrovich said. "It’s looking pretty good right now and we are always looking to improve it. Right now we are trying to find what’s going to make us do those things better."
"We are excited about the season," outside hitter Faith Robbins said. "Everyone is trying to find their place on the team right now but everything is going really well."
Each new season brings a new class of recruits. But this season, along with four freshmen, Ohio must work two transfers into the system. Kellie Turner and Hannah Burkle bring in veteran outside hitting experience and all the players are adjusting with ease.
"Our new players are fitting in really well," Petrovich said. "They fit in with our team chemistry. We are having fun, we are laughing, they are breaking out of their shells. And on the court too. They mesh right in, they are all really competitive and want to get better and want to learn our system. It’s really been a great fit so far."
"Everyone is fitting in well," Robins said. "Our team is very close, we are all getting along and its just fun to play with new players and form a new bond with new girls. We are really excited about it.
With over a week until the first game against Pepperdine on August 24, the Bobcats are on schedule to piece everything together in time for the opening match.
"Right now in preseason you just don’t know," Petrovich said. "You don’t know what other teams have and we don’t really know what we have yet. In the conference, we are more prepared because we know these teams and play them every year. The teams in preseason we really want to sneak up on them and show them things they haven’t seen before."
"We are going to have to find out in the next week what we are really good at," Theis said." I have an idea in my mind on some things that we are doing really well but once we kind of get a line-up figured out we will know some more strengths."