By Christopher Jones, For The Miami Student
After last weekend's upset over No. 19 Michigan State University, the Miami University women's volleyball team looks to build on its momentum at the Wolf Pack Classic.
The competition pits the RedHawks (3-4) against Montana State University (2-2) and Weber State University (3-3) before setting the stage for a historical rematch against tournament host University of Nevada (2-4).
The last time Miami and Nevada crossed paths was in 1988, when Miami, after making its fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance, downed Nevada 3-0 in Honolulu to become the first MU women's team to earn a victory in an NCAA tournament contest. The RedHawks have never played Montana or Weber.
Led by sophomore outside hitter Madison Foley who has 77 kills on the year, Nevada will have its hands full this weekend as it tries to slow down Miami's red-hot attack. A trio of junior middle hitter Paige Hill, junior outside hitter Maris Below and sophomore outside hitter Katie Tomasic lead the 'Hawks, accumulating 166 kills on the year. The RedHawk's defense has also stifled opponents, courtesy of sophomore defensive specialist Maeve McDonald. Last weekend, McDonald recorded 63 total digs, averaging 4.20 digs per set. She tallied 14 crucial digs in the win over Michigan State, which earned her a spot on the Spartan Invitational All-Tournament Team. McDonald was also named Miami Athlete of the Week for the first time in her career.
Head coach Carolyn Condit is determined to keep the team focused and improve its streak.
"The focus is really going to have to be on us to continue to do what we are doing well," Condit said. "The first weekend we were unable to win a match even though there was some great competition, the second weekend we won 2 of 3. I like to think despite the time change, the very hot weather, and the long trip, that this team can go out there and take this tournament. That shows progress into the next phase, which is winning our home tournament."
Miami opens the Wolf Pack Classic against Montana at 7:30 p.m. ET Friday in Reno, Nevada. The 'Hawks continue play at 4 p.m. Saturday against Weber and at 10 p.m. against Nevada.