The Southern Conference volleyball schedule began two weeks ago, and the Mercer Bears have stumbled out of the gate a bit in conference play.
Mercer lost its conference opener against Samford and is now 5-11 overall and 1-4 in conference play. The Bears are hoping to get things turned around this weekend when they host Western Carolina on Friday and Wofford on Saturday.
“We’re a little behind where I expected we might be,” Mercer head coach Damian Elder said.
The team has had several injuries and has played only two matches with all of its starters. But Elder said Monica Johnson and junior Hannah Noon are “getting back into the groove” after injuries earlier in the season.
The Bears lost both conference games last weekend, 3-1 to Chattanooga and 3-0 to East Tennessee State. Despite the difficult start, the Bears had several Southern Conference players of the week, a first for the program, and they are 4-0 at home.
Paige Alsten, a freshman middle blocker, is the Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week and has 67 blocks. Tori Penrod, a junior libero, also earned Defensive Player of the Week three weeks ago and leads the team with 233 digs.
Junior Ellie James posted a career high in kills and digs this past weekend. And sophomore Morgan MacGilvary has led the team in kills (144) for most of the year.
“We’ve got some dynamic players,” Elder said.