‘Rough spot’ no reason to push panic button

Leigh Bishop

For the first time all season, the Missouri Southern Volleyball Lions are getting attention not related to their record but from rumors circulating around campus.

Among the rumors was one that the team had “lost” its locker room as a wake-up call.

“This is team business; I don’t believe it’s public business,” head coach Chris Willis said Tuesday.

While Willis won’t release what is causing the campus to talk, he did say the team had started to coast a bit.

“Every team goes through a rough spot,” he said. “Complacency has set in. I’ll take the blame since it’s a reflection on the coaches. Our record was just so good.”

The Lions had three days off of practice and Willis said the team needs to reload.

“We’re not getting the results we want,” he said. “We need to get refreshed, not push the panic button.”

Tomorrow, the Lions play at home against the Washburn Lady Blues for the second time this season. When the Lions previously lost to the Lady Blues 1-3, Washburn was ranked eighth but are now down to 10th.

“The girls have a personal mission in their minds to succeed,” Willis said. “This has turned into a rivalry because a lot of girls on the team are from the Kansas City area so they know a lot of Washburn’s players.

“Washburn has earned the target on their back.”

On Wednesday, the Lions will face the Pittsburg State Gorillas. The Lions beat them 3-1 last time.

On Oct. 28, the Lions will get acquainted with the Fort Hays State University Tigers once again. Last time, the Lions beat the Tigers 3-0.

Last weekend, the Lions traveled to Arkadelphia, Ark., to compete in the Henderson State Classic. On Friday, the Lions lost to the North Alabama University Lions 0-3, but won against the Arkansas-Monticello University Cotton Blossoms 3-1. On Saturday, the Lions repeated the pattern, losing first to the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers 1-3 and then winning against the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns 3-2.