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Lessinger preaches defense as they prepare for road trip

Two things that coach Claire Lessinger said she’s noticed in the volleyball team this week is team energy and defensive improvement. The team hopes to build on these things as it hits the road once again, this time to St. John’s and Connecticut.

SF (15-10, 5-5) comes into this weekend tied with Georgetown for eighth place in the competitive Big East conference.  Friday’s opponent, St. John’s (18-7, 9-1), comes in with sole possession of first place in the Big East, and Connecticut (18-7, 9-3) is tied for fourth. Lessinger said she knows this weekend will be challenging, but she is optimistic about the team.

“The energy here is really good,” Lessinger said. “The past two losses weren’t bad losses, and we’re taking a lot of good things out of them. We are feeding off of the positives and working on our team defense. I have a lot of faith that we’re going to be able to do what we need to do.”

After losses last weekend to Louisville and Cincinatti, Lessinger said her team has solely focused on defense this week.

“Defense wins championships,” Lessinger said. “It is something we need to pride ourselves in. We need to be more efficient on keeping balls alive.”

Freshman outside hitter Alli O’Connor said she believes that the team grew up a lot after the losses last weekend.

“The two losses this past weekend really pointed out what we needed to work on,” O’Connor said. “I think we have gotten better in practice this week, and hopefully we will carry that into the weekend and get a win.”    

Senior middle blocker Nakia Williams said she is confident in her team going into the weekend.

“We have improved our defense every day in practice this week,” Williams said. “We feel like we can go toe-to-toe with St. John’s and Connecticut, and we’re going to play really hard this weekend.”