After 11 straight games on the road, the Truman State University volleyball team finally made its home debut last weekend. The action started in Pershing Arena Friday night, with the ‘Dogs defeating Southern Indiana 3 sets to 1.

Senior Kayla Bastian and freshman Claire Viviano each had 14 kills, and sophomore Savvy Hughes led the way with 43 assists. The team had a quick turnaround playing the Bellarmine  University Knights for a Saturday afternoon match. The ‘Dogs dropped game two of the homestand 3-1 against Bellarmine, bringing the Bulldogs’ record to 3-10 overall and 2-2 in conference play.

Senior hitter Lacey Hill says it was a huge relief to play at home surrounded by loving fans after being away for 11 matches, only winning two during the stretch.

Originally picked to finish third in preseason GLVC rankings, Truman currently falls lower than expected, in the middle of the conference standings. Hill says the early struggles mean there is much room for improvement. Hill says after the split games this weekend, the team has acknowledged the key parts which are necessary to improve upon as a team to take back control in the conference. She says this team has the full potential to be number one in this conference, it just has to play to its full potential.

Senior middle hitter Bailey O’ drobinak says improving from here means Truman players must take advantage and get wins over the weaker conference teams they know they should beat. O’drobinak says by defeating the teams it matches up with well, the team can ensure that when it comes to the end of the season it has done all it can to determine if it will make postseason play.

Bastian, often a leader in kills, has 878 career kills after a weekend of 23 in two games. With less than 125 kills to 1000, she would be the 17th Bulldog to do so in school history.

“My main goal when I step on the court is to do my best to help our team win,” Bastian says. “If the 1000 kills happens in the process that would be great, but our team’s success is my number one priority.”

Next up, the ‘Dogs remain on their home court to host Rockhurst University and William Jewell College for two more conference games. Truman will play Rockhurst at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, followed by William Jewell at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1.