Carolyn Condit wasn’t sure what to tell her team.
Her Miami RedHawks fell to Ball State, 3-1, eliminating them from the Mid-American Conference Tournament Nov. 23 at Bowling Green’s Stroh Center. It could’ve been the end to their season.
“I said, you know, I really don’t know what to tell you now,” Condit said. “Nothing I say can make you feel better. I know you all put your heart into it, but we just didn’t find our rhythm, and we just didn’t go at them (the Cardinals) early enough to keep them in check.”
Instead of going home, they’re getting a chance for redemption on the same court as the MAC Tournament defeat. The RedHawks were selected to the National Invitational Volleyball Championship and will play Texas Christian Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
“I knew we had a very good chance [of going to a postseason showcase],” Condit said.
Despite a 9-17 record, TCU features athletic and powerful players all over the court. The Horned Frogs compete in the Big 12 Conference. Three of their final four opponents — TCU lost to each — are in the NCAA Tournament.
“TCU is pretty athletic,” Condit said. “They have a couple big blockers that can get their heads over the top of the net, and they’re just a really athletic team. However, their downfall is they don’t play the best defense. They don’t necessarily have a blocking scheme, so even though they’re big and go over, we’ve worked a lot today on going high, going off their arms, finding seams. There’s a couple [TCU] kids that really aren’t sure of themselves on defense.”
Miami has played similar teams (Ohio State, Tennessee), so it knows how to handle them.
“One thing, for sure, is starting strong,” Condit said. “With our serves, find the velocity we need to keep the other good teams out of system. If they’re not passing to the next, they can’t run quick and isolate our block.”
If all goes according to plan, Miami will face rival Bowling Green on the Falcons’ home court in the second round. For that to happen, both will have to win their first-round matchups. The two teams split their season series.
“Just to prove to ourselves that we can play that well and take care of us,” Condit said, “Then, I feel like we can give them the game we need to give them.”
The RedHawks have all their weapons at their disposal, too. Sarah Wojick, Sophie Riemersma and Gaby Harper have battled injuries, but all three will be available for the NIVC.
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Now, with the chance for redemption solidified, Condit knows exactly what to tell her team.
“We can do it.”