An important aspect of coaching is the ability to make adjustments, and GRU volleyball coach Sharon Quarles has made a major midseason alteration.
After a handful of conference games GRU is 2-2 in Peach Belt action, and improved its overall record to 10-4. The team opened up conference play with a lost in three straight sets to Armstrong, strung together a couple of wins against Flagler and Columbus State and then fell to USC Aiken.
The losses to Armstrong and USCA showed that GRU is not ready to compete at an elite level, because both conference rivals share the top spot in the league with a 5-0 conference record. While GRU is in the middle of pack at fifth place.
However, in an attempt to win future games against the premier teams of the conference, GRU is testing out a new scheme.
“We lost in four (sets) against USC Aiken, but that was a very bad match for us,” Quarles said. “We’ve seen where we need to make adjustments, and this week we are going into a 6-2 system.”
GRU will now run with two setters on the court, and the objective is to have three attackers in every rotation. As opposed to the 5-1 system the team used to run, which limited its front row attack, Quarles said.
This adjustment could provide an advantage for GRU, because none of its opponents have game film on the team running the 6-2. Quarles said as long as her attackers are on the same page then the change-up should yield positive results.
Although the head coach said converting to the 6-2 system will be written in pencil, and could be easily erased if her players don’t respond well to the switch in strategy.
“For right now it’s not so much the opponent, it’s for what makes us better collectively,” she said. “And what makes us better right now is changing to a 6-2 system.”
In the Columbus State matchup Sept. 24, GRU obtained its first PBC road win of the season, 3-1, at the Lumpkin Center. Two GRU players finished with double-doubles that night. Senior caption Kristen Koch racked up 14 kills and 16 digs and freshman superstar Kali Boatwright, who ranks third in the PBC in service aces, posted 15 kill and 16 digs.