You Practice How You Play, and You Play How You Practice

The St. Cloud State volleyball team struggled mightily against #8 Minnesota Duluth at Halenbeck Hall on Tuesday. They fell in straight sets by the finals of 25-15, 25-10, and 25-11. In the end, it was as lopsided as the scores would suggest, if not more so. The fans got a first-hand look at what it takes to be one of the top teams in America, and the Huskies struggled with more than just the competition.

During the KVSC postgame show Huskie head coach Chad Braegelmann said, “I don’t know if we’ve hit negative yet this year, but 27 hitting errors in a match just isn’t going to get it done against one of the top teams in the country… So, we certainly didn’t do our part. We helped them look good for big chunks of time. But boy they have a really good offense and a really good setter, and we didn’t get them out of system other than maybe two or three balls that they passed off the net. They kind of just did whatever they wanted for quite a while tonight.”

“You joked with me before the match and you said ‘I think we should be hospitable’ and I think we were. It’s frustrating though because we had a practice yesterday where we didn’t execute real well and the intensity and the focus wasn’t there and it absolutely reflected in the way we played tonight.”

When asked whether fatigue played much of a factor–as the Huskies were playing their third match in four days–Braegelmann responded, “We had Sunday off and on Monday we shortened up practice, because we watched film first and we were only in the gym for about an hour or an hour and a half. And I don’t like making excuses; it can’t be fatigue–that’s not an acceptable answer. We just didn’t execute. We played a real tough team that played real well and we played very, very poor.”

“One of the young women on the team used the word ‘embarrassing’ and I won’t disagree. It was pretty embarrassing out there for large chunks of time.”

“A couple of things to take away though are that we held them down in hitting in the second set, and we had a couple more digs in the third set, but boy not a lot of positive things to take away.”

With their fifth ranked opponent in a row coming up in the Concordia Golden Bears on Friday night, Braegelmann understands how important it is to get the team back on track in practice saying, “You just tell them that we didn’t execute well in practice yesterday and this is how it carries over to today.”

“Sometimes we don’t execute well in practice and we actually play well [in the game] because you’ve got that bad taste in your mouth, but that certainly wasn’t the case tonight.”

“What we did in practice yesterday was exactly what we did today. I would look at it as a good reminder to them that ‘hey, this is why it’s so important to come to practice ready to go and be sharp because you practice how you play and you play how you practice.’”

The Huskies will travel to the Gangelhoff Center to take on #4 Concordia-St. Paul on Friday night. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. They will then round out a quick weekend road trip in Mankato on Saturday. First serve is set for 4 p.m.

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