HOUGHTON - Michigan Tech volleyball coach Matt Jennings is trying hard to keep the Huskies' season in perspective after a pair of home-opening losses dropped Tech to 5-10 overall and 2-5 in the conference.
After all, the Huskies already have three more total wins and two more wins in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference than all of last year.
But Jennings, who has repeatedly said he is "perpetually unsatisfied," truly feels his team has a chance for a big weekend on a long trip to face Ohio foes and GLIAC newcomers Walsh and Malone.
Findlay’s Mackenzie Vorst attacks the Michigan Tech double block of Kienna Sharp (left)?and Shelby Jones during Sunday’s match at the SDC?Gym. The Huskies are at Walsh and Malone this weekend. (DMG photo by David Archambeau)
"I sense it was an emotionally taxing weekend, so I thought Monday and Tuesday we were pushing through some mental fatigue and physical fatigue, too," said Jennings, who gave his team the day off practice Wednesday before the team left in the evening.
"My expectation and the team's is to go 2-0 this weekend as long as we take care of business," Jennings said. "Ball control will be the key component to both matches. They both present a similar offense and something we can compete against."
Walsh (3-9, 1-6 GLIAC), like the Lake Superior State and Lake Erie teams that Tech has already beaten, is a team the Huskies feel they have the upper hand against.
"We have to be ready for their middle attack," Jennings said.
"They do a real good job in transition, and they have a good outside (hitter) who is a bit undersized."
Malone (7-6, 3-4 GLIAC) also "has a couple nice middles," according to Jennings, who pointed out their good block and aggressive serving as well.
"I do believe we are the better ball control of the three teams," Jennings said. "If we can take care of business this weekend, we're going to remain in the hunt for the GLIAC tournament."
He suspects a .500 conference record would do that, and beating the teams they're statistically supposed to beat will be critical to reaching that mark.
"This weekend I think the two of them are very winnable."