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Volleyball splits weekend games

(10/01/14 9:56am)

The Rice University women’s volleyball team (11-5) won one game and lost another this past weekend. The Owls gained a 3-0 victory against the University of Southern Mississippi while in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on Friday Sept. 26. After the shutout victory, the team traveled to Bowling Green, Kentucky, only to fall 3-2 in a close match against Western Kentucky University.


Volleyball wins seven of eight

(09/24/14 8:07am)

This past weekend, the Rice University volleyball team hosted a tournament in which the Owls won two games and lost one in their second invitational of the season. Rice began the tournament by sweeping Texas Southern University 3-0 on Friday night, followed by a loss to the University of Louisville 3-0 later in the day. The loss to Louisville put an end to a seven-game winning streak, giving the Owls their fourth loss of the season. The team came out on Saturday and won in their final game of the tournament against Stephen F. Austin University. The weekend’s play brought Rice’s current record to 10-4.








Women's tennis drops match against Baylor on the road

(02/10/14 6:00pm)

The Rice University women's tennis team fell 6-1 to Baylor University last Saturday, Feb. 8. Junior Natalie Beazant earned the Owls' only win. The Owls have lost their last three games to the University of Texas, Austin; Stanford University; and Baylor, all of which are ranked in the top 20.This weekend, Rice will try to end its losing streak against McNeese State University on Saturday, Feb. 15 at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium. McNeese State currently has an overall record of 2-1, while the Owls are 2-3.Head Coach Elizabeth Schmidt said Baylor came out hard last weekend and played a better game. She said the Owls wanted the wins but were just unable to pick them up due to Baylor's pressure."[Baylor] played better than us today from start to finish," Schmidt said. "It would have been nice to grab a couple of those tight first sets, but Baylor did a good job making an extra ball and putting the pressure on us."Schmidt said that this week, Rice will simply focus on improving, and the team will work hard at practice to clean up any messy playing."We'll get back to work [this week] and continue to get better," Schmidt said.Schmidt said the team still firmly believes in their ability to compete with elite teams and emerge victorious. She said the Owls can definitely give any team a fight."I still believe that we can play with anyone in the country," Schmidt said. "We just need to trust ourselves and have confidence."Senior Dominique Harmath also said Rice has a lot of fight. She said the players know they have the capacity to win these matches against high-profile players."I was extremely impressed with the fight everyone showed," Harmath said. "We know we are good, and we know we can do great things."After the game against McNeese State, Rice will head to Montgomery, Ala., where it will take part in the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic the weekend of Feb. 22.Schmidt said winning is a top priority. She said being competitive is not enough; the team's goal is to play hard and win. Schmidt said she hopes the defeats will make the Owls even more determined to attain victories in the coming weeks."You want to go out and be competitive in every match, but the bottom line is we also want to win," Schmidt said. "We can take some positives from this, but I hope it makes us hungrier, so we can put seven points on the board."


Women's tennis prepares for No. 1 Stanford

(01/27/14 6:00pm)

The Rice University women's tennis team went 1-1 this past weekend, beating Florida State University 4-3 and losing to the University of Texas, Austin 4-1 at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association kickoff. Rice is now ranked No. 22 with a 2-1 record.The Owls pulled off a close win against No. 24-ranked FSU thanks to junior Natalie Beazant and senior Dominique Harmath winning third-set tiebreakers.Head Coach Elizabeth Schmidt said the win against FSU was hard-fought and the team never stopped playing."This was a gritty team victory," Schmidt said. "We had great efforts on all six singles lines. They each fought their hearts out all day."Schmidt said the No. 17 Longhorns posed a greater challenge to the Owls. She said the loss could be attributed to a slow start and inability to maintain consistent momentum, rather than any lack of work or determination."We didn't lose this match because of a lack of fight," Schmidt said. "We shook off a slow start in doubles and came out strong in singles. The match was a series of momentum shifts all afternoon. It all came down to a couple of points at the end. But by the same token, you have to give credit to Texas. They fought just as hard, and they pulled out those matches at the end."Beazant said she needs to adjust to the new scoring rules that quicken the pace of doubles. She said the team needs to adjust to this faster pace."I don't know how I feel about the no warm-up rule before singles, because it's quite the bit of a rush," Beazant said. "I guess we'll get used to it. It's just one of those things you've got to adjust to. It's definitely different."This weekend is shaping up to be filled with highly competitive play for the Owls. After facing No. 65 Louisiana State University on Friday, Rice will play Stanford University, the No. 1 team in the ITA polls and the defending NCAA champion, on Saturday, Feb. 1.Beazant said the team is trying to achieve a level of consistency. She said the Owls are looking forward to continuing their strong start to the season. To that end, Beazant said they need to keep up with their preparation before matches."[We're] making sure we keep match fit," Beazant said. 


Women's tennis ready for ITA event

(01/20/14 6:00pm)

The Rice University women's tennis team started its 2014 season with a 7-0 win over Lamar University on Saturday. The team quickly gained the doubles point to take an early 1-0 advantage. In singles play, the Owls won five of the six matches in straight sets to secure the win. With this victory under their belts, the Rice Owls head to Austin this weekend for the Indoor Tennis Association kickoff weekend. They will face Florida State University on Saturday, Jan. 25 and either the University of Texas, Austin or Auburn University on Sunday, Jan. 26.Head Coach Elizabeth Schmidt said she was happy with the results on Saturday. She said it was an ideal way to start the season."I'm really proud of the team for the match today," Schmidt said. "I thought we came out and set the tone."Schmidt said she was especially satisfied that the Owls exemplified determination and fight, qualities which Lamar admired."I was really pleased," Schmidt said. "In the middle of the match, the [Lamar] coach came up to me and said, 'Your team has a lot of fight.' A compliment like that from another coach says a lot about your team, and that's definitely what I wanted to see from our team today."Freshmen Alison Ho and Katherine Ip both gained their first dual match win Saturday. Schmidt said she was excited that the freshmen made such a positive impact right away."That's a great feat that we'll remember forever," Schmidt said. "[Ho and Ip] are a great addition to our team, and we're really happy that they were able to come through and really get their feet wet [with their first] dual match experience."Junior Natalie Beazant said the season is off to a good start."It was good to get back out and get some match play," Beazant said. "We have a great atmosphere here with all of the fans."Beazant said one of the major changes for her this season is adjusting to the new scoring rules. This year, it only takes six games to win at doubles (compared to eight last year) and players are only given 10 minutes in between doubles and singles matches. Beazant said the team must adjust to this shortening of matches."There's six games, so you could literally blink and it's over with," Beazant said. "It's important to get out there and start really fast, get a good warm-up and make sure your head's in the right place."The team now looks forward to the ITA kickoff. Schmidt said she anticipates tough competition against Florida State, UT and Auburn. She said last weekend's match against Lamar has prepared the team well."I think we have one of the toughest kickoff regions in the country," Schmidt said. "We're excited about that because we've got three other great teams in there. It's going to be a really exciting weekend of tennis, so I'm glad we were able to get a tough match in to start the season. Lamar pushed us in spots and made us earn it, and that's what we're going to have to do next weekend as well: go out there and earn it."


Volleyball ends season in first round of C-USA tournament

(12/03/13 6:00pm)

The Rice University volleyball team's season came to an abrupt end when it lost to seventh-seeded University of Alabama, Birmingham in the first round of the Conference USA tournament Nov. 21. The Blazers swept Rice 3-0. With the loss, the Owls finished the year at 11-19 overall and 7-8 in conference play. Head Coach Genny Volpe said UAB played a strong and confident game and that, while the Owls were in good form, they could not quite keep up with their opponent."UAB came out at the conference tournament with a really strong presence and executed their middle attack really well, which I think rattled our team," Volpe said. "They had a more confident air about them, which was a bit surprising since we had won five out of the last six matches. I felt like we were in a good place and confident, but UAB dominated that match from the start. They played great and fearless volleyball. We didn't respond until the third set, and by that time, it was a little too late."   Volpe said the team was disappointed with the results of this season. She said Rice had ambitious goals, and it was frustrating when these goals were not met. Volpe said Rice's struggles were due to unfortunate injuries and a difficult schedule."Obviously, we are disappointed in how the season went for us, as we had high goals that were not reached," Volpe said. "I do think we played a very tough schedule, and when you are missing some key players due to sickness and injury, that will not end well. When the results weren't there, it affected our confidence."Volpe said the team is trying not to concentrate on failures of the past and is instead looking forward to next season. "We learned and grew as a team as time went on, and we will carry those [lessons] into the spring and next season," Volpe said. Volpe said the Owls have youth on their side, and the players who are set to return next fall will be working hard throughout the spring."I think in general some of the high points of the season were the performances of our youth," Volpe said. "Sara Blasier and Chelsey Harris [played major roles as] freshmen. They played key roles this year and led our team in many matches. Our future is bright, as we return several starters from this past season, and I can guarantee they will remember this season and be motivated this spring to improve."  Senior outside hitter Mariah Riddlesprigger said she wished for more wins her final season but sees the good that came from this team. She said the team was a close-knit group of people, and she enjoyed the season despite its disappointments."My senior season was filled with so many ups and downs," Riddlesprigger said. "This team faced so much adversity from beginning to end, but I couldn't have asked for a better season. This group of girls was such an amazing group, and they made this season [one] I will never forget." Riddlesprigger said she has complete faith in the team's ability to have a successful future."We are all excited about the future," Riddlesprigger said. "Even though I am done, I know these girls are going to bounce back and do amazing things next year. Everybody [had] better watch out because they are on a mission."Volpe said the team will miss Riddlesprigger and her three fellow seniors - setter Megan Murphy, outside hitter Tyler Jenkins and right side hitter Lindsay Daniel - that will graduate this year."I do want to thank our four seniors for all of their dedication over the years," Volpe said. "They are wonderful young women and have influenced our program in so many ways."


Volleyball wins final two games, ends conference play with 7-7 record

(11/18/13 6:00pm)

The Rice University women's volleyball team ended its conference play on a high note, beating the University of Alabama, Birmingham 3-0 on the road Friday. The team continued its winning streak Sunday, sweeping Louisiana Tech University 3-0 to win its final road game of the season. The team concluded conference play at .500 with a record of 7-7.The Conference USA tournament will take place in Murfreesboro, Tenn., where Rice is the 10th seed out of 12 teams. The Owls will face seventh seed UAB again Nov. 21, just six days after their win over the Blazers.Head Coach Genny Volpe said the team has hit a high point in the season. The Owls are heading into the tournament aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and Volpe said she believes the team will pull off a win."I think the team is just coming into their own and playing the game freely and confidently," Volpe said. "We recognize that we are not perfect and we will make mistakes, but we are gritting it out and finding a way to win. I am so proud of how they are competing and fighting."Senior outside hitter Mariah Riddlesprigger said that despite being seeded 10th, the Owls have lofty ambitions and a lot of confidence. The team is looking forward to the tournament with eager anticipation. "We are very excited for the conference tournament," Riddlesprigger said. "We know our potential and are excited to see what we can accomplish in the tournament."Riddlesprigger said the team is counting on its ability to upset higher-seeded teams. She said that if the team focuses on finishing games strong, the Owls might shock some teams in the tournament."We are going to work on finishing games," Riddlesprigger said. "We know we have the potential to upset people in the conference tournament, and we are going to prepare for that."In practice this week, Volpe said Rice will review its recent game against UAB. She said they won the game handily, but there is still room for improvement. Volpe said that since UAB will be more knowledgeable about Rice's style of play the second time around, the Owls will be in for a battle."We don't have much practice this week," Volpe said. "But we are playing UAB first round, so we are evaluating that match and seeing what we did well and what we need to continue to do to improve our game and stay focused."  Volpe said the team will focus on its fundamentals, which can make all the difference in tournament play."I believe that all teams right now are focusing on the serving and passing game, as that is key to success, and that will continue to be a focus," Volpe said.  Volpe said that after an up-and-down season, Rice is glad to head into the tournament. She said this is what the team has been getting ready for all season."Our team is excited about the tournament," Volpe said. "We have been preparing for it for some time now, and it's really just about playing freely and being willing to grit it out over the four-day tournament."


Volleyball drops match to Tulane

(11/12/13 6:00pm)

The Rice University women's volleyball team had a three-game winning streak after beating Houston Baptist University 3-0 in a nonconference game last Thursday but lost 3-1 to Tulane University at home Saturday. With the loss to the Green Wave, Rice's current record in conference play is 5-7.This Friday, Nov. 15, Rice will travel to Birmingham, Ala. to play the University of Alabama, Birmingham. On Sunday, Nov. 17, Rice will play Louisiana Tech University in its last home game of the season. UAB's volleyball team is slightly ahead of Rice in the Conference USA standings with a record of 6-6. Louisiana Tech is at the bottom of the conference with a 1-11 record.Head Coach Genny Volpe said that despite the loss to Tulane, the team's play had some admirable aspects to it. She said Tulane was a skilled team and Rice made too many errors. "Tulane is a solid team [that] has won 24 matches this season for a reason," Volpe said. "They have a couple of stud hitters that really carry them. I thought we competed well and fought all afternoon. I'm proud of the fight. We just need to eliminate errors at key times." Volpe foresees that UAB will not be an easy team to beat due to their impressive blocking. Despite this, Volpe said Rice could win. She said that if Rice can run an effective offense, they will have a strong chance of victory. "UAB is a big blocking team and will pose a challenge for us at the net," Volpe said. "But I feel confident that if we pass well and control our side, we can create opportunities to stress their blocking and make their floor defense have to work hard."Volpe said Rice does not intend to underestimate Louisiana Tech despite its weak record. Volpe said Louisiana Tech will come out hard this weekend."[Louisiana Tech] is struggling a bit, but we are fully expecting them to battle," Volpe said. "They are fighting for a spot in the conference tournament."Junior middle blocker Jillian Humphrey said the players are maintaining a determined attitude about the final two games of conference play and will work on defense in practice this week."This week in practice, we are going to continue working on defending the ball," Humphrey said. "If our defense is on, then we win games."Volpe said the Owls continue to look forward to the conference tournament with a will to win. Volpe said she would like the team to finish conference play this weekend on a high note. She said momentum would be beneficial for the team as it enters the tournament."I want us to finish the last two matches strong and confident," Volpe said. "Heading into the conference tournament, we want some momentum."To Rice, the volleyball season is not over until the conference tournament ends. Humphrey said winning the tournament is and has been the team's biggest goal. She said the Owls can win the championship if they put forth their best effort."If we keep improving our standings in conference and keep getting better every day, we have a real chance at winning the conference tournament," Humphrey said. "We've just got to understand that we are a good team and play with confidence."


Volleyball on the rise after two wins in Florida

(11/05/13 6:00pm)

Rice University women's volleyball swept the weekend, beating both Florida Atlantic University 3-1 and Florida International University 3-1 to give the team a two-game winning streak. The team will have a chance to continue its success this Thursday, Nov. 7, against Houston Baptist University. Rice will then play Tulane University in a conference game at home this Sunday.Head Coach Genny Volpe said the team is satisfied with its victories over Florida Atlantic and FIU.  She said the games were difficult, but Rice came out on top."We are really pleased with the team's performance this weekend," Volpe said. "It is not easy to win on the road, and those are two pretty tough teams to play on their home courts."Volpe said the team won by playing with a consistent style. While the team has struggled in the past with maintaining a lead, Volpe said the Owls have recently avoided sacrificing points and have been able to win crucial sets."I think one of the key reasons that we won both of those matches was that in tight situations, we played steady and smart volleyball," Volpe said. "We didn't give them points ... there were times that the opposition could have pushed us to five sets, but we either held onto our lead or fought back and won a key set. This was very important."The team's strategy for the rest of the season is simple. Senior outside hitter Mariah Riddlesprigger said Rice will work on its play this weekend in preparation to do well in the conference tournament."This week in practice, we are going to focus on our side of the net and [on] improving our game for the conference tournament," Riddlesprigger said.Riddlesprigger said the team aims to win the conference tournament. Their current record in conference play is 5-6. If Rice manages to win the three remaining conference games, the Owls will be in a solid position as they enter the tournament. Riddlesprigger said the team is utterly committed to getting itself in that position. "At this point, our focus is on winning the conference tournament," Riddlesprigger said. "There is no looking back, and our complete focus is putting us in the best position to win the conference tournament."Volpe said the team is confident in its ability to win its remaining games. She said the Owls just need to continue to play consistent volleyball. "We know that we can beat anybody that we play from here on out," Volpe said. "It's just a matter of execution on our side of the net ... and [of] staying strong and healthy." It took the team a bit of time to reach this winning streak, but Volpe said its momentum is here to stay. Volpe said Rice's recent wins indicate that the team has at last managed to decrease mistakes in close games and capitalize on leads by finishing sets strong. Volpe said now that the Owls have reached this level of play, the team aims to continue the winning streak."Our goal is to keep gaining momentum through solid play," Volpe said.



Volleyball looks to bounce back from rough weekend in West Texas

(10/21/13 7:00pm)

After a brief two-game winning streak earlier this month, Rice University women's volleyball team lost its last two games. Rice attained victories over the University of North Carolina, Charlotte and Marshall University during its last homestand, but when the Owls traveled last weekend, their winning streak abruptly ended. Rice lost 3-2 to the University of Texas, San Antonio Friday and then fell 3-0 to the University of Texas, El Paso Sunday. Back-to-back losses have put the Owls at 3-5 in conference play.Junior middle blocker Lizzy Bache said the Owls have an optimistic attitude and believe in their ability to rally."Our team is staying very positive," Bache said. "We have no doubt in our ability to turn things around."Rice will get the chance to improve its record this weekend. This Sunday, Rice will play the University of North Texas at home. Head Coach Genny Volpe said UNT plays similarly to the Owls. She said she expects the match to be close."[UNT] seems to be similar to us in many ways," Volpe said. "They can be very successful, streaky and are somewhat inconsistent. They are very athletic, like we are, and I anticipate the match to be very exciting, and it could come down to the team that plays the cleanest volleyball will win."Volpe said the Owls show a lot of talent but they occasionally make mistakes."Our performance at UTSA had a ton of bright spots," Volpe said. "It was some of the best volleyball we have played all year, and we showed tremendous fight. We just made a couple of more mistakes in the end and lost a close one that could have gone either way." Volpe said these mistakes and the Owls' lack of focus are the reasons for Rice's recent losses."Against UTEP, we did not have that focus," Volpe said. "We gave too many points away and did not rebound. You can't beat anyone like that, much less a team with veteran players like UTEP, [which] wanted to beat us more than we wanted to beat them."Bache said the team will work on its discipline and on maintaining control of the game to prepare for its upcoming game against UNT."In practice this week, we will be putting a lot of emphasis on staying disciplined and keeping our focus especially when we are down," Bache said.Bache said the Owls need to decrease the number of unforced errors they make in order to win against UNT."The biggest challenge will be to remain disciplined and reduce our unforced errors," Bache said. "When it comes down to it, especially in a conference with such evenly matched teams, the key is to clean up the little things and to make less mistakes."Volpe said the Conference USA tournament is still in the team's sight. Volpe said that if the team can play a clean game and pounce on opportunities, the rest of the season will produce a bounty of victories."Our goal is to win," Volpe said. "We want to win the rest of our matches and get the best seed for the C-USA tournament. We know we have the talent and the C-USA tournament title is up for grabs. We just need to clean up some of our skills and minimize our errors. We need to capitalize on situations where opponents show weakness. When we do these things, anything is possible for us."


Volleyball continues to struggle in C-USA play

(10/08/13 7:00pm)

Rice University women's volleyball lost two away games this past weekend in Conference USA play. The University of Tulsa beat the Owls 3-0 on Friday, and the Owls fell 3-2 to the University of Southern Mississippi in a close contest on Sunday, bringing Rice's conference record to 1-3. The Owls will now look to improve that record with their upcoming home games this weekend. They will play Marshall University this Friday at 7 p.m., then play the University of Charlotte Sunday at 1 p.m. in the annual Dig Pink event to support breast cancer. Head Coach Genny Volpe said the biggest reason for the loss against Tulsa was the team's difficulty with finishing strong. Volpe said this has been an issue throughout the season. "Against Tulsa, we were ahead most of the time and couldn't finish," Volpe said. "We had some key errors at key times, and this led to Tulsa gaining confidence and coming back to defeat us. We had a great game plan for Tulsa, and the team was executing it very well. We just didn't finish when we had the chance."Volpe said the team did not take full advantage of certain opportunities against Southern Miss. "We were given some opportunities that we didn't take advantage of," Volpe said. "We have to do this to win these tight matches."Senior outside hitter Mariah Riddlesprigger agreed the team needs to build its ability to finish strong. Riddlesprigger said the team can play with the best. "I think the biggest thing we need to work on is finishing a game," Riddlesprigger said. "I feel like this whole season we have all the tools necessary to win, but we just need to be able to go in there and finish. We were up by eight points at one time, and we weren't able to capitalize on that and finish the game, so I think our biggest weakness right now is the capability to finish a game."Volpe said the team will face tough competition as conference play keeps going, but the team is focusing on itself rather the opponent."Marshall is solid and will play hard," Volpe said. "Charlotte, we have never played, but we are more focused on our side of the net than the other side to start practice this week."Riddlesprigger said she is not deterred by recent losses and looks forward to next weekend with confidence. She said the team learned a lot this past weekend and has some advantages in the upcoming games. Riddlesprigger said that since the Owls have never played Charlotte before, they have no intimidating pre-existing notions of the team. She said she thinks a quest for redemption will invigorate the Owls against Marshall."I'm feeling pretty confident," Riddlesprigger said. "I think we learned a lot from this past weekend on what we need to work on in conference. Charlotte is a new opponent, so we have no clue what they look like. I think with Marshall, we've lost to them a few times in the past and we're out to redeem ourselves."During the Charlotte game, the team will be collecting donations and selling T-shirts for its Dig Pink campaign for the Side-Out Foundation to support breast cancer. Riddlesprigger said this is a meaningful event for the team."Dig Pink is something really big to our team," Riddlesprigger said. "We've raised a lot of money for it in the past, and I think it's a great cause, and I'm happy we are continuing to do it."The Owls head into this weekend with anticipation for success. Volpe said the team is on an upward climb, as indicated by the near-win against Southern Miss. The team's next goal is to finish a game with a victory under its belt."There certainly was progress made over the weekend," Volpe said. "But until these turn into wins, we won't be satisfied."


Volleyball starts conference play

(09/30/13 7:00pm)

Rice women's volleyball started conference play last weekend with a win and a loss. On Friday, the team lost 3-0 to Middle Tennessee State University, but the Owls came back hard from the loss to defeat East Carolina University 3-0 on Sunday. Despite Friday's loss, junior defense specialist Daniela Arenas had a milestone game, recording her 1,000th career dig in the game against Middle Tennessee.This weekend, the team travels to Oklahoma in order to play the University of Tulsa on Friday. On Sunday, the Owls travel to Hattiesburg, Miss. to face the University of Southern Mississippi.After the victory this past Sunday, Head Coach Genny Volpe said the team has made progress but can do better in the future."We've definitely improved," Volpe said. "We could still make our consistency better."Junior middle blocker Jillian Humphrey in particular had a solid game against ECU, leading the team with 15 kills. Humphrey said despite the loss to Middle Tennessee, the team is very happy with the win over East Carolina. "We obviously feel like we're the best in the world right now," Humphrey said.Rice still has some steep competition to face, and the Owls are aware of the areas in which they can improve. Humphrey said the team plans to work hard this week in practice. She said the players will work on defense and will practice receiving hard-hit balls in order to improve their play."We have a lot of things to work on," Humphrey said. "[Last weekend], our defense was great, but we can always improve there and in our serving and receiving. They were giving us a lot of off-speed balls, and we were handling those well. I think in practice this week, we're going to work on the quicker-tempo, harder-hit balls coming at us."Tulsa will present a challenge for the Owls. Tulsa's women's volleyball team has an overall record of 11-4. Last year, the Golden Hurricane won Conference USA and made it to the NCAA tournament.  Humphrey said that in recent years, Tulsa has always beaten Rice. She said the Owls need to overcome self-doubt and need to believe they have the ability to triumph over Tulsa."We've gone against [Tulsa] in the past and come up short each time," Humphrey said. "So I think we need to work on getting over the thing in the back of our heads saying 'You haven't won this yet.' "Humphrey said the team will have to work hard in order to gain the confidence and skills necessary to beat Tulsa. Humphrey also said Tulsa's strength is in its hard-hitters. Hence, she said it is crucial that Rice work on defending against high-velocity balls."We're just going to have to work really hard," Humphrey said. "They have a lot of hard-hitters, and we're going to have to pick up our defense for them."Overall, Volpe said the team is going to need to have productive practices this week. She said the exhilaration from the recent win will make the team even more eager to practice hard."We're excited to get back in the gym," Volpe said.