Weekend of losses can?t stop Utes

By By Paige Fieldsted

By Paige Fieldsted

It was a rough weekend for Utah athletics.

The football team pulled off a sloppy win over San Jose State, the women’s soccer team lost by one goal and the volleyball team went 0-2 at the Santa Clara Tournament.

Even after the dismal weekend, there is still hope for the Ute Nation8212;after all, this is what the preseason is for.

Although college teams don’t have the advantage of a real preseason8212;one that would affect their regular season like the NFL, NBA and MLB do8212;most of the Utah teams still have several games before they begin the all-important conference schedule.

These so-called preseason games are for learning what the team is all about, ironing out kinks in the system and preparing the teams for conference competition.

Although bids to the NCAA Tournament or a Bowl Championship Series bowl ride on the Utes’ entire schedule, winning a conference championship can have just as much pull, making losses in the preseason less of a blow.

Many fans might think coaches create schedules that are too difficult and that their attempts to bring national attention to campus have backfired, but that’s not true.
I’ve heard coaches from almost every sport on campus say that sometimes you learn more from losses than you ever do from winning. I’ve heard them say that their teams learn nothing from blowing every opponent they meet out of the water.

Challenging schedules and tough losses help prepare teams for the big wins and upsets to come later in the season. You have to know what it feels like to lose the close game if you ever want to win in the same situation.

Redemption and revenge are powerful motivators. I’m not saying any Utah teams need to redeem themselves, but the drive and hunger to get a win that a team feels after losing a few games in a row is powerful.

The Utes, as a whole, are still capable of having successful seasons, despite facing a few obstacles in the first couple of weeks.

The soccer team is adjusting to having seven new freshmen on the team and has yet to establish a clear leader, something that needs to happen before it begins conference play in October. Continuing to face tough competition such as UCLA and Pepperdine could help the team establish a leader and mesh before the conference begins.

The volleyball team has also struggled as of late8212;after starting 4-0, the Utes are now 6-4. The team is working on replacing three big seniors from last season, and though clear leaders such as Karolina Bartkowiak and Chelsey Sandberg have emerged, the Utes are still working to replace the defensive power they lost. With only one more game before the team starts its campaign to repeat as Mountain West Conference champions, the preseason could prove to be valuable preparation, even if it did result in four losses.

The football team is still getting used to running under the leadership of new quarterback Terrance Cain and several new coaches. Although the Utes’ win over San Jose State might have been sloppy, it’s better to get those types of games out of the way now before tougher competition arises.

Although wins are always preferred to losses, the Utes8212;overall8212;are still in good shape to have successful seasons.

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