First of all, I am not going to try and breakdown yesterday's loss to the Demons. It is early in the season and it's hard in the moment to see that "it is only one game", but it really is true - that's just one loss. Teams need the necessary time to go through the early part of the conference slate and figure out where they stand, smooth out some rough edges, make improvements and adjustments. The tell tale sign won't be what happens next week against ORU and UCA - those are two tough matches against very good teams. The real issue will be whether or not SFA can gather themselves during October by not going into a prolonged funk and lose to teams that don't have as much talent.
Like it or not, Northwestern State DOES have as much talent as we do. They have a ton of offensive weapons. I discussed several of them in my preparatory article for the match last week, but then another outside hitter - freshman Ashley Elrod - did the most damage yesterday in Natchitoches. When you combine all those quality hitters with the strong back row play led by libero Keelie Arneson, you really have to tip your hat to what the Demons bring to the hard court.
We didn't play our best. That was quite obvious. But that doesn't take away from the fact that Northwestern State is a quality team and one that will be interesting to watch - along with SFA next week - as they too visit Oral Roberts and Central Arkansas.
One of their offensive weapons - the should-have-been Freshman of the Year last year - Caiti O'Connell sat down with me for a chat early Saturday morning several hours before the match. As I've done the last few years, I like to introduce SFA fans to other players and coaches from around the league through these interviews and also give other SLC players the chance for a little additional recognition beyond their campus boundaries.
Click the this link to hear the interview with NSU Outside Hitter Caiti O'Connell