Warriors serving up trouble
Mar 08, 2013 (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Here's a tip: Hawaii provides good service.
"Hawaii is a very, very good serving team," said Southern California volleyball coach Bill Ferguson, whose Trojans play the Warriors tonight and Sunday afternoon in the Stan Sheriff Center.
"When you go in and play them, in essence, you have to try to get comfortable being uncomfortable and being out of system," Ferguson added. "They have so many guys who can create problems from the service line."
The Warriors have adjusted the rotation so there can be a jump-spin server at every turn.
Johann Timmer opens each set as a serving substitute in place of middle blocker Davis Holt. With the flexible substitution rules, Timmer can have two serving turns in that spot each set.
In last week's match against Northridge, UH middle Taylor Averill was allowed to swing away on serves.
Timmer and Averill add to a rotation featuring power servers JP Marks, Siki Zarkovic, Brook Sedore and Joby Ramos.
"For us," Ferguson said, "the focus is: 'How are we going to pass How often can we be in system, and if we're not in system, how effective can we be ' That's been a struggle for us. When we're in system, we've been doing a good job. When we haven't been in system, we're unproven. That's going to be a real learning curve for as to how we do when we're not in system."
The Trojans have dependable transition players. Libero Henry Cassiday, a Punahou graduate, was named to the 2012 All-America second team. Setter Micah Christenson, a Kamehameha graduate, was the national newcomer of the year in 2012.
Ferguson acknowledged the Trojans have struggled with consistency.
"We're looking for extended periods of good rather than short bursts of real good," Ferguson said. "We've had too many peaks and valleys. We need to keep steadying out."
There are nine USC freshmen, with several redshirting.
"I think we're going to have a real solid roster through 2016 with the freshmen we have," Ferguson said. "Big picture, everything is going to be good. But we have to start putting things together soon."
The Trojans are 10th with a 4-9 record in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The Warriors are 11th at 4-10. The top eight teams qualify for the MPSF playoffs.
"For either team, winning both matches (between the teams this weekend) would (create) some separation from the bottom of the pack," Ferguson said. "I think a split would keep things interesting for a longer period of time. Whoever comes out on the losing end of a sweep is going to have a really tough road the rest of the season. This is a real big weekend for both teams."
The Warriors appear to be in better shape after losing two four-set matches to Northridge last week. Marks has recovered from an ailment, and Ramos has had a strong week of setting.
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