Drake held three conference matches the weekend of Oct. 5 against Bradley (W 3-1), Illinois State (L 1-3) and Indiana State (W 3-1). Coming out of the matches with two wins and one loss, the Bulldogs now have a conference record of 4-3.
“Our conference is really challenging this year,” Grace Schofield, outside hitter, said. “There have been games where we have really gone out and shown who we are as a program and other games where we needed to do that a lot more and I think we’re in a good place to do that this weekend.”
During Friday’s game, Schofield set her career record of 19 kills and lead the team overall that game.
“That was a game where I feel like everyone was doing their jobs and in those games, it makes everyone’s job a little bit easier,” Schofield said. “That was definitely cool my senior year but we’re still looking forward to more, staying hungry.”
Bradley took the first set 25-19, but Drake came back in the consecutive three with over five point wins each round.
“Bradley was a good game for us we were definitely able to turn it around from the weekend before,” Cathryn Cheek, outside hitter, said. “We did not play our best because we lost one set to them, but we were able to respond pretty quickly after that which was good for us.”
Saturday night, Drake took a loss to Illinois State in four sets. Illinois took the first two and the last while Drake came back in the third with a 29-27 win.
“Illinois State played a steady match all game and it was tough,” Paige Aspinwall, setter, said. “We’re ready to play them again in the second round of conference.”
In the last match of the homestand, Drake tacked on another win making their conference record over .500. In this match against Indiana State, Aspinwall and Cheek both earned career-highs. Aspinwall finished the match with 53 assists.
“I couldn’t do it without my hitters,” Aspinwall said. “They got me those kills. It’s just another game.”
Cheek completed the match topping her prior career-high of 21 kills, making it 23 against Indiana State. Cheek stated that although she does not track her numbers herself, it still is great, but now the team has to keep looking forward.
“We have got to be a lot tougher,” Cheek said. “I think when we play certain teams, they have trouble playing this rollercoaster season for us. We’ve had really high highs and really low lows, so we need to find our consistency and our highest level of play and keep it there. We just need to come out strong no matter the opponent, no matter the game and play like we know how to.”
The Bulldogs will not return to the Knapp Center until Oct. 26, but will complete three away games prior, two being this weekend versus Missouri State on Oct. 12 and one versus Southern Illinois on Oct. 13. These games can be followed on ESPN 3 and ESPN+.
“It’s always challenging to travel and try to bounce back for games, but I think that we are focused, we are ready going into it and ready to get some W’s this weekend,” Schofield said.