In sports, more so than in any other discipline, it is often not what you do right that is important, but what you do wrong. That was the case for Boston College volleyball’s two conference losses in Florida this past weekend.
BC’s trip down South looked to provide a much-needed change of pace for the Eagles, who were just coming off a pair of tough losses to Syracuse and North Carolina, but unforced errors on the part of BC (5-9, 0-4 Atlantic Coast) ended any hope of a rebound.
In the first set against No. 15 Florida State (11-2, 4-0), the Seminoles took the early advantage and BC kept pace, but the Eagles were never able to take the lead. Things still looked promising with BC only down by a point, 21-20, but Florida State took control late and concluded the first set with a 4-0 run that gave it a 25-20 win.
Florida State extended its momentum from the first set into the second with a 6-2 scoring advantage. But BC halted the Seminoles, going on a run of its own powered by three assists from Camille Oemcke, who led her team with 14 assists in the matchup.
The Eagles tied the game at 12-12, but Florida State soon retook the momentum as it immediately scored four unanswered points, on its way to winning the second set 25-17, and in the process setting up the third set as a must-win for the Eagles.
Florida State took control of the third set from the outset, going on a 6-2 run early before a kill from Sol Calvete momentarily halted the onslaught. BC was able to hang on for a few points, until a 10-2 scoring drive smashed any hope of a comeback for the Eagles. Florida State went on to take the set 25-15 to extend BC’s ACC losing streak to four.
Florida State was a formidable matchup for BC, but the doesn’t make the loss sting any less. Coming off of a loss last week to No. 12 North Carolina, head coach Chris Campbell noted the struggles of his team against better opponents.
“There is a big difference between conference matches and non-conference matches,” Campbell told BCEagles.com. “The quality of play jumps as soon as you get into the ACC.”
Coming off two tough losses to open up ACC play, BC hoped that a trip down to the Sunshine State would warm up its play. During the final set of its loss against North Carolina, BC started to develop real chemistry and fire, and upon the opening of the first set against Miami (7-9, 1-3) this attitude seemed to be carrying into its next match. The two teams exchanged points, with neither truly dominating. BC was able to capture an early lead, but three consecutive BC errors tied the game up at 9. After BC again built up a slight lead, spearheaded by six kills from Calvete, Miami went on a 7-2 scoring run to capture the first set 25-23 and gain the early advantage.
Miami carried over its momentum from the first set into the second, as it opened up play by going on an 8-3 run that was helped along by five errors from BC. The Eagles were able to pull the game to within two as the score sat at 10-8. BC looked poised for a comeback, but back-to-back errors stalled any progress it had made, as Miami took control late in the set to win the second set 25-17.
Going into the third set, BC needed to make a statement to regain the confidence that was seemingly lost somewhere in the first two sets. Unfortunately for the Eagles, the Hurricanes came out swinging in the third set with an early 12-2 run, which gave Miami a 16-5 lead. Late in the set, Cat Baldio led a BC surge with two impressive kills, but this last-ditch effort proved futile, as a BC error put Miami up 25-14, and thus the Hurricanes took the set 25-14, and with it swept BC to take the match 3-0.
Despite the apparent domination by the Hurricanes and the Seminoles, the only areas where BC and its opponents truly differed were hitting percentage and errors. These two categories proved to be BC’s downfall. The offensive attack of the Eagles is not as effective as it could be, despite great production from Jill Strockis and Anna Skold. This languorous offensive attack is not helped along by the sheer number of errors committed by BC over the last two games. This weekend, the Eagles committed two errors for every one that their opponents had. This ratio cannot produce a winning volleyball team, and BC needs to focus on reducing the number of errors as it moves on to Louisville and Notre Dame.
Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor