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Volleyball: Finding balance on the court

Rosemount volleyball coach Smokey Vitek wants her young team to be aggressive offensively, while also being patient and consistent.

The Irish continued to struggle finding the right balance between the two while losing a pair of 3-1 non-conference matches last week. The team had 50 or more unforced errors, according to Vitek, in last Tuesday's home loss to New Prague and plenty more against Roseville back at Irish Gym on Thursday.

"All the sets were within two or three points and we gave away too many points, which impacted our ability to win sets (against New Prague)," Vitek said. "Again (Thursday) we made too many unforced errors to win the close matches. We are continuing to work on this at practice, being patient in our offense, serving aggressively, but in. We are doing a pretty good job passing and getting the ball to our setter. However, your hitters need to be more consistent and we need to mix up our sets a bit more."

The Irish came on strong in the second set Thursday, but lost their third straight match 13-25, 25-20, 12-25 and 15-25. With the victory, the Raiders improved to 4-1.

"We did play better, but Roseville is a stronger team," Vitek said.

The New Prague match was close the whole way, but the Trojans came away with the key points in a 27-25, 25-22, 23-25, 28-26 contest.

Brittany McLean led the Irish with 15 kills, followed by Katie Duff with 12 and Erin Slinde with nine.

Haley Zweber returned to the team and supplied 14 digs.

The Irish traveled to Bloomington for their South Suburban Conference season opener Tuesday at Jefferson and are back on the road tonight at Eagan. The match begins at 7 o'clock.