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Date Posted: Mon, November 01 2004, 20:02:06
Author: UTA Alum
Subject: Hey! Back in First Place!!

The Good News - Texas State finally lost a game (at home no less) and ended their 14 game winning streak. That and a couple wins at home for the Mavericks put UTA back in first place with a 20-4 overall record. Nice!

The Bad News - SFA extended their winning streak to 11 games with their victory over Texas State, including three straight shutouts. Texas-Arlington plays a tough Sam Houston at home tomorrow night (Tuesday) in Texas Hall, but then goes on the road to Nacogdoches to battle SFA on their home turf.

The season is winding downbut the heat is firing up and every team in the Southland will be fighting tooth and nail
to stake their claim at the Conference Championship and a place in the NCAA tournament.

If UTA can pull off a victory at home with Sam Houston, they'll be riding high when they go into enemy territory, but will the Lady Lumberjacks knock them off their horse? This is when experience counts. Experience teaches a player when not to take anything for granted. Experience calms the player in a game 5 rally match when she is three points down. Experience reminds the player that ball placement is key for setting up a great defense, so that offense can take over and punish the other team.

SFA has the leagues TWO best servers and the overall highest ACE percentage, while UTA doesn't even rank in service aces and not a single player made it onto the top ten in that category.

But UTA stand a top the league in hitting percentage and kills on record, while SFA is drudging pretty deep into sitxh place in both categories. The one thing that may give UTA the edge is their defense. UTA averages more digs and more blocks per game than any other team. The higher blocking percentage probably won't help them much even though SFA places 6th in that category also.

My prediction: Digs will decide this game more than any other factor. Digs and a few critical and well timed blocks, that is. We'll have to spread their defense around by using as many kill opportunies as possible and launch our attacks from as many places as possible. Our defense needs to get up at about 4a.m. on wednesday morning and start doing grass drill until their legs are rubber and their faces covered in sweat and mud so they can balance their defense against SFA.

Up, Down, Go! Up, Down, Go! Faster! Up, Down, Go!

If the lady Mavericks start thinking like they did in pre-season and really gel like they have ALL season long, then we could pull out a big, fat, trash talking W. And if coach can get them to start practicing HARD serves now and ball-placement, then they may be ready in time for the conference tournament.

I saw the game against Lamar on saturday, and even when they were up, two games, they didn't lose steam. They played with heart. You gotta respect that. Let's just hope their team skills catch up to their individual talent and that both of them catch up to the amount of heart this team plays with! Not that I'm saying any of the above wasn't good, but they're young and the race is close. These next three weeks are usually determined by experience. I think that if the Mavericks CAN win this, they'll beat whoever they play in the first round of the NCAA. They'll do it with guts.

Up! Down! Go! Dig! Dig! Dig! Craaaawwwl!
Victory is in the dirt, hooah.

-Buck 'em

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