Reaching the Midway point of the season, stakes are beginning to rise for the ladies of The Minnesota State University, Mankato volleyball team.
Following a successful weekend road trip, the Mavericks look to seek win number seven and the upset victory against the University of Minnesota, Duluth Bulldogs here in front of the fans at the Taylor Center this Friday at 6 p.m. Currently, the team sits at 6-13, which is near the bottom of the conference and a bit disappointing.
Even if their record may say a lot about this group, they are a team that will not go down without a fight. That is especially the case for junior middle blocker, Sophie Tietz who currently leads the team in kills and has the highest defense percentage on the team this season. Even for easily being considered one of the best players on the Mavericks starting six, the native of Watertown S.D. really does not pay much attention to the numbers.
“I just try to go out there every time and try my hardest. Play for my team on the court, compete against my opponents, and go out there every night and get the win,” Tietz said
As for their opponent the Bulldogs, they are arguably one of the best teams within the last five years of the program. Currently, with a record of 16-1, the team led by Head Coach Jim Boos looks to continue their dominance as they push for the school’s twenty-fifth championship and number seventh in Boo’s tenure.
The person of most interest for the Bulldogs is the team’s go-to server and outside hitter, junior Cianna Selbitschka. The native of North Branch, Minn. is having a phenomenal season as she currently leads the team in kills and services aces and currently is tenth amongst the entire conference. She is the heart and soul of the Bulldog offense as they look for their nineteenth win and extend their five-game win streak to six.
It will certainly be a battle between David and Goliath on the courts of Taylor Center this Friday night. One team looking to power and mow down their opponent, and another looking to shake up the world and play spoiler. As for Tietz, the pressure that is building toward this game is not going to affect the mentality or drive of this team once tip-off starts.
“We just try to take each opponent game by game and approach with the mentality that they are coming for us every time. We treat every opponent that walks into the gym equally whether they are a team that’s 18-1 or 1-18.” Tietz said.
Write to Charlie Groebner at Charles.Groebner@mnsu.edu