The Cyclones flew out to the Mile High City on Friday morning to compete in the Johnson & Wales Wildcat Invitational. They competed against Johnson & Wales, Rockford University and Illinois Tech. Adjusting to the elevation gain after traveling all day was difficult for the team while they were up against the hosting Wildcats. But the team seemed to bounce back on Saturday as their play picked up.
Assistant coach Mike Knight noticed the bounce back. "We did exceptionally well in the serve-reception phase of the game in both of our matches on Saturday after having a hard time finding our rhythm on Friday."
First year Ashley Noble, a known leader on the court, had another outstanding defensive performance with a weekend total of 61 digs, and she was named to the All-Tournament team.
While the elevation and travel affected the team, both head coach Jack Cowden and assistant Knight remain positive. Knight commented, "Our squad is comprised mostly of first year student-athletes, and they have been competing really well against taller, more experienced teams. They played some excellent volleyball this weekend."
Cowden added, "It was a strong weekend with a very strong team performance filled with very competitive rallies."
Preparing for their next game, the team will be focusing on their defense where they can make some adjustments as well as their offensive strategy. The Cyclones compete next on Sept. 13th against Pacific in Oregon.
Tournament highlights by your Cyclones:
Sierra West had 11 digs
Aurora Gaines had 11 assists
Jordyn Windom had 4 block assists
Haley Hurst had 3 block assists
Ashley Nobles had 29 digs
Sierra West had 10 digs
Aurora Gaines had 16 assists
Illinois Tech (I3-M0)
Ashley Noble had 25 digs
Haley Hurst had 12 digs
Aurora Gaines had 15 assists
Jordyn Windom hit .125