Following a convincing 3-1 win against Maryville University, the Bulldogs dropped their next game against Quincy University 3-1 in favor of Quincy.
Emma Berthold, opposite hitter and team captain, made her return to the floor on Friday, following the season-ending injury she suffered back in 2019.
“I was driving the team to be successful since I couldn’t be out there physically helping them,” Berthold said.
She elaborated, saying it was a big adjustment finding ways to be an asset to the team in the end.
Berthold instantly showed her value on the floor this weekend, leading the team in blocks in the win over Maryville. She followed up with 7 kills against Quincy, the second highest on the team.
“Emma has always been there, whether it was during or prior to her injury,” Head Coach Ben Briney said. Berthold has become an outspoken voice on the team, holding others accountable.
Berthold is a senior this year and was on the team when Truman won the conference championship her freshman year, back in 2016 when they beat McKendree University in 3 sets.
“She understands what it takes to go win a conference championship,” Briney said. “She is able to speak with authority. Whenever she speaks, people on the team have a lot of respect for her and it helps out a lot in the leadership aspect.”
This is a young Truman team with 11 players being either a freshman or a sophomore. With that in mind, Katy Motz, the junior transfer from Pace University, takes a different approach towards motivating the team.
Motz said she believes her leadership role is in how she plays. The younger players on the team look to her to go for every ball, try to win every set and work her hardest in practice; really laying it all out there for the team.
Motz said the team was quickly able to find cohesion and establish connections between the hitters and setters after working off some nerves in the win against Maryville.
However, the Bulldogs dropped the game the day after against Quincy, which Briney chalked up to a lack of discipline on Truman’s side.
The matchup against Quincy on Saturday exposed some weaknesses, which is a good thing in the eyes of Briney, as long as the team learns from their mistakes. Briney said the team must be more disciplined on the pass and create a dynamic offense while remaining solid on the defensive end.
Despite this, the team has aspirations for a conference championship this season, which the team believes is achievable.
The Bulldogs retake the floor this Friday at 7 p.m. against Quincy, looking to bounce back from their loss on Saturday.