With 3-0 loss, George Brown falls below .500 for the first time all season
Following a tough 3-1 loss to Fleming, Huskies men’s volleyball head coach Garrett May spoke of how a win against Durham would even things out. Rather than making that fresh start, George Brown remains in the red after falling 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-15) to the visiting Lords on Saturday.
The first set was a tale of mini-momentum swings. Once the Huskies recovered from a tough start, it was largely a back-and-forth affair. At a crucial moment in the backend of the first, when George Brown seemed poised to go on a run, a timely Durham timeout saw control return to the Lords.
Across two close sets, the Huskies were given no room for error. By the third, George Brown seemed tired of battle, and limped to the match’s 25-15 conclusion. The win saw Durham sweep the regular season series, a perfect 6-0 across two games played.
Durham left the Huskies with no wiggle room, waiting to make George Brown pay for each and every mistake. According to Lords right-side hitter Bret Polfuss, this was far from accidental.
“We’ve been focusing a lot on error management, making sure we keep the ball in play and minimizing the mistakes that we make,” said Polfuss, who had four kills in addition to his strong defensive presence. “We let our opponents make the mistakes and we just play a solid game.”
For Durham head coach George Matsusaki, the difference between the two squads was one of depth. Believing his Lords to be a little deeper, Matsusaki spoke of how this allowed Durham to roll fresh players and wear opponents down, George Brown included. Furthermore, the ability to win wars of attrition also had to do with the kind of depth at his disposal.
“I think one of the things is not only do we have good players, but they’ve been experienced players,” said Matsusaki. “There’s not a lot of rookies on this team, so that helps a lot. Physical maturity with older players also helps.”
Huskies head coach Garrett May saw the match somewhat differently. Believing George Brown had the advantage through most of the first two sets, May thought it was lack of want which felled his side.
“We did enough to put ourselves in a position to win those sets,” said May. “When it came down to it, we weren’t ready to really win and we didn’t expect it, so we didn’t get it.”
With the loss, George Brown falls below .500 for the first time all season. While a 5-6 record still puts them right in the thick of things, the team knows it’s capable of another gear. As Huskies setter Pradeep Bhogal said after the match, “We have a chance to do better and keep going forward, instead of staying back here and not making the playoffs, not pushing ourselves to where we could be.”