With only two home games left this season, the women’s volleyball team looks to repeat their victories against Oregon State and Oregon this Friday and Saturday. These games will help determine their ranking for the NCAA tournament. Alexandra Ting | Daily Trojan“Oregon State and Oregon are really critical in order to insure a good place in the tournament,” head coach Mick Haley said. “We can move up in the RPI standings if we beat Oregon. Otherwise, we are putting ourselves in jeopardy.”However, even though USC swept Oregon State and defeated Oregon in four sets on the road the last time they met, the Women of Troy are prepared for both opponents to come in and force them to earn their victory, as they each will be coming from playing UCLA right before.“The second time you expect them to be the same as the first time, and they never are,” Haley said. “All the teams bring something different the second time. People try harder if they had a good match or a bad match. You really have to be diligent and accept the challenge that it is going to be a good competition.”USC’s record reflects the struggles they have been facing in winning games at home, but Haley is hopeful that his players are ready to face both opponents. For the games, he wants his team to use this time at home to fully prepare for the matches and be in a mindset to win.“I gave them three things,” Haley said. “We want to try to eliminate all the distractions, be organized and be focused on the team we are playing for that night. Now it is just a matter of if can we play, end of the semester, tests, all of this stuff, can we keep all of this organized and come out and give our best effort.”Not only are these games important to their final ranking for the tournament, but these are also the last two home games for the seniors. Their senior night will be on Saturday and will take time before the game to honor all they have accomplished as players during their time at USC. For the seniors, these games mean more as the end of their collegiate careers is almost upon them. “The seniors look forward to the recognition of the time they have put in representing their school and the appreciation from the alumni and students that come and support them,” Haley said. “It is an important tradition that we have.”Ultimately, the Trojans will have to battle to not let their last meetings with their opponents lead them into a false sense of security, and they will have to enter both games with high intensity. If they do that, the women’s volleyball team have a good chance of adding two more wins to their record. “We have to be courageous and go in and fight to win ugly or win well,” said Haley. “We just need to win.”The Women of Troy face Oregon State at 7 p.m. on Friday night before taking on Oregon in a 5 p.m. match on Saturday.Photo caption: Senior middle blocker Elise Ruddins is one of three seniors who will be playing their last weekend of games at the Galen Center starting on Friday night.
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