Virginia Beach, VA - The Penn State Fayette volleyball team is prepared to get the USCAA Division II national championships underway, and it faces a familiar opponent in its opening match.
Fourth-ranked Fayette faces top-ranked University of Cincinnati Clermont Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
It is a rematch from October 6 when Fayette downed Clermont in four sets.
The match took place at Penn State DuBois, and Fayette lost to the hosts earlier in the day.
Fayette head coach Sam Swetz spoke about the first meeting.
"Getting the win was a combination of things," she said. "We had just lost what would be our only time in conference earlier that day and it lit a fire under the team to prove themselves.
"They played as a team that day and with incredible heart."
Having already beaten Clermont, the team has confidence in itself.
"Beating the number one ranked team in the USCAA definitely gave this young team the confidence boost we needed," she said. "Now I truly believe they think anything is possible!"
What has Swetz and her staff done to keep the players from getting caught up in the moment of playing at the national championships?
"My coaching style, and our staff, live and breathe these moments and I think as a coach it's important to stay aggressive and energetic on the sidelines to keep the players in that mode," she said. "I'm running up and down the sidelines, jumping up and down and yelling because if the team is putting in 100%, so am I.
"Our returners have one or two years under their belts and ready to prove that we belong to be here."
For more information on the championships, go to http://uscaafallchampionships.com/2018_Championships/2018_Division_II_Bracket.pdf.
For more information on the volleyball team, go to https://www.psfathletics.com/sports/wvball/index.
Written by Bill Hughes