For Bakeer Ganes, students make all the difference.
The volleyball coach has been lobbying for fans of the team to come out the entire season, and reaped the benefits Friday night during a 3-2 win against SMU.
“I keep telling everybody whenever I get a chance; when the students come here, it makes a huge difference,” Ganes said. “It really gave us a lot of momentum, a lot of energy and SMU certianly didn’t expect that.”
In a matchup against what Ganes cited as “the best team in the conference”, the Owls’ credited their fan base for their advantage.
“I don’t think we could have done it without the crowd,” Ganes said.
The Owls began the match with a quick 25-17 win in the first set, and followed it up with a tough 25-22 second set victory. In a set that found the Owls down 2-10 early on,
After the intermission, the Mustangs came out with back-to-back set wins, 25-20 and 27-25. The fourth set was hard fought and had 13 ties and eight lead changes before the Mustangs pulled away. The fifth set began with eight ties and three lead changes before the Owls could pull away and win it 15-10.
“I think that was one of the best crowd showings that I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” junior libero Alyssa Drachslin said. “When a crowd’s that into it, and you can feel the energy bouncing off both walls it gets us into it as well.
Draschlin posted a team-high 30 digs in the Owls win, two of which came during a key rally in the fifth set that would end in one of seven kills from senior Jennifer Iacobini and propel the Owls to victory. Iacboini said that the crowd was key in finishing off that set.
“Having the crowd there, that was amazing,” said Iacobini. “They bring a lot of energy, and it helps us feed off of them, and the band is also amazing.”
“If the schedule would allow it, we would love to have the band here every match,” added Coach Ganes. “Whenever the band is here, its unbelievable. Any time they want to come, they can come.”
Aaron Carney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.