Spikers Fall at Glendale
Glendale, AZ --
The volleyball team at Eastern Arizona College is experiencing some growing pains. An abundance of freshmen, coupled with the injury to setter Islynne Ward and the absence of Gabriela Barsante, have made things difficult in the early stages of the season. The Gila Monsters lost to the Glendale Gauchos in four sets Aug. 30. EAC head coach Shari Kay has been more concerned with her team beating themselves than with the Gila Monsters not having the talent to compete against the competition. "Glendale's not a real strong team, but it just seemed like we were making points for them," Kay said. "We're not a very mentally tough team. We do a couple things wrong, and it just snowballs." Ward's status is still uncertain. She is seeing doctors in Tucson to find out if her anterior cruciate ligament in her knee is sprained or torn. If it's only a sprain, she shouldn't miss too much time but if it is a tear, she probably would be out for the season. Kay should know the extent of the injury in a couple days. Not having Ward to set up the attackers has been a problem for EAC. "She's the quarterback," Kay said. "I use two (setters)." The other setter is Raquel Villalobos. Kay thinks Villalobos has done a good job, but she isn't getting much out of her backup setter position.
Kay and the rest of the team will gladly welcome the addition of the 6-foot Gabriela Barsante from Brazil. She is due to arrive on campus Sept. 3. Barsante should see her first game action on Sept. 6 at Pima. Kay isn't worried about her needing a lot of time to fit in with the team, but things will be different for her. "Maybe not so much on the floor, but just the culture and where she is. My girls are nice. They'll make her feel welcome," Kay said. The Gila Monsters will then host a tournament on Sept. 7-9. "She's going to get her feet wet real fast," Kay said, laughing.
Story written by Brian Wright at the Eastern Arizona Courier (428-2560 ext. 235 or firstname.lastname@example.org).