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LBSU looks to muster a win at Walter Pyramid

Plagued with injury, the women’s volleyball team comes back home to host the LBSU/UCI Mizuno Invitational.

Junior+outside+hitter+Megan+Kruidhof+returns+the+ball+in+Aug.+26+match+against+Iowa+at+the+Walter+Pyramid.
Junior outside hitter Megan Kruidhof returns the ball in Aug. 26 match against Iowa at the Walter Pyramid.

Junior outside hitter Megan Kruidhof returns the ball in Aug. 26 match against Iowa at the Walter Pyramid.

Joseph Kling

Joseph Kling

Junior outside hitter Megan Kruidhof returns the ball in Aug. 26 match against Iowa at the Walter Pyramid.

Kevin Colindres, Staff Writer

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The women’s volleyball team returns to the Walter Pyramid to play No. 13 UCLA on Friday, with San Francisco and Montana State following on Saturday.

LBSU (1-9) looks to snap an eight-game losing streak and is currently second to last in the Big West conference in overall records.

Key players have been injured to start the season, with senior middle blocker Ashley Murray who was named All-Big West First Team in 2016, as well as junior defensive specialist Gigi Alex going out early.

Murray has no exact time table to return, but head coach Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer believes she will be ready to play next week. Alex will be making her return this weekend, playing her first match of the season against the Bruins.

Senior setter and team captain Alexis Patterson attributes the team’s struggles to tightening play when the score gets into the high teens and minimizing controllable errors overall.

Despite the bad start, LBSU is still confident in its game, and continues to pursue a high level of volleyball play.

“These losses are so devastating because we all know we have more talent we haven’t even tapped into yet,” Patterson said.

Going into the weekend, LBSU faces UCLA (5-2) seeking a win after being taken out in four sets the previous year.

“We’re trying to get our team healthy and trying to progress with what we’re doing at the gym,” McKienzie-Fuerbringer said. “We do not have any expectations this weekend except to play good volleyball.”

LBSU continues to take a game-to-game approach, and will focus on San Francisco and Montana State following its match against the Bruins.

“After each game is over, we analyze the good and bad points, figure out what we need to work on,” Patterson said. “Win or lose, we don’t dwell on it and focus on the next day at hand.”

The 49ers have a doubleheader on Saturday, taking on the San Francisco Dons (3-7) at 11 a.m. and the Montana State Bobcats (4-2) at 7 p.m.

The Dons have also struggled at the start of the season going winless on the road.

This is San Francisco head coach Frank Lavrisha’s first season as a Division I coach for the Dons after a successful Division II coaching career. LBSU will have to prepare for a tough matchup and plans to watch film and practice early to prepare for San Francisco.

The Bobcats have had early success winning their last three matches on the road. The 49ers have a tough weekend ahead of them but are solely focused on playing the best they can.

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