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Shymansky: ‘tougher teams this weekend’

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Nikki Klingsporn (4) and Rabbecka Gonyo (11) look to take another tournament victory this weekend at the Panther Invitational, opening against Western Michigan.

Nikki Klingsporn (4) and Rabbecka Gonyo (11) look to take another tournament victory this weekend at the Panther Invitational, opening against Western Michigan.

Like true champions, the Marquette women’s volleyball team has moved on from last weekend’s tournament victory and is preparing for this weekend’s Panther Invitational at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“Now we’re just focused on what’s next,” sophomore Ciara Jones said. “We were excited about the wins, we celebrated them, but now it’s time to move on as champions would do: just stop focusing on that win and start working for the next one.”

Junior Nikki Klingsporn agrees.

“We have to come out and practice and work even harder,” Klingsporn said. “We saw what we need to improve on, so we’re ready for next weekend.”

Preparation for the Panther Invitational has included a lot of passing, Jones said. That’s the area coach Bond Shymansky believes needs the most work.

“We’re really working hard on our serve-receive passing,” Shymansky said. “We want to do a better job of defending the backside attack. I think the combination of doing those two things better will help us be more competitive against much tougher teams this weekend.”

He described his coaching staff’s practice methods as laying a solid foundation and being able to build up from there.

“We talk about layering on complexity,” Shymansky said. “We need to make sure the foundation is strong and the basics still get implemented and reinforced and trained every day, but then layering on different complexities whether it’s offense or defense.”

These complexities will be key for positive results from this weekend’s tournament. In store for the Golden Eagles are match-ups against Western Michigan, South Dakota and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

In Western Michigan (2-4), the Golden Eagles will face a very talented opponentŃone that was an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and made it to the Sweet Sixteen last year.

“We feel that this is a supreme opportunity to go out there and steal a victory, and one where we’re the underdog,” Shymansky said.

Marquette has some previous history with the Broncos, losing to them 3-0 in 2008 and failing to reach double digits in the third set (17-25, 17-25, 9-25).

“We played Western Michigan last year for the Thanksgiving Tournament and that was, yeah, that was a different story,” Jones said. “But I’m excited to play them now because we have a new team and a new coaching staff.”

Should Marquette steal one from the Broncos and then beat South Dakota (3-5), it would set the table for an emotional match against crosstown rival UW-Milwaukee that could decide the champion.

“None of those teams are easy. Particularly UW-Milwaukee is a tough team because its always going to be a grind with them,” Shymansky said. “Most of our players know their playersŃwe’re the crosstown rivals. Everybody understands the blood that’s involved in that match-up.”

Not to get ahead of himself, Shymansky did state that the team is not looking that far forward yet.

“We certainly aren’t good enough to look ahead to anyone,” he said. “We have to stay focused on what’s in front of us.”

Marquette will then come home and face Ohio State Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Al McGuire Center in a regular season game.

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