Women’s volleyball places seventh at championships

NCAC tournament brings season to a close with 18-13 record

Alex Holmes, Sports Editor

The women’s volleyball team ended its season and placed seventh in the NCAC conference tournament on Nov. 6-7, 2015.

“We really kept a good energy level. They were very focused and ready to play this weekend,” said Head Coach Brigit Sheehan. “I thought all the teams we played, we played much better than we did the first time. Defensively we did a lot of good things, I thought our blocking went to another level against the teams we played in the conference.”

The women started the weekend facing the top team in the conference, Wittenberg University.

“We went into that game trying to prove ourselves and I think we did that well. We proved ourselves well in terms of playing with them, and coming together as a team for that match. It’s something to work towards, becoming that better team, playing like them, playing more consistent,” said Terra Schall, ’18, libero.

Middle hitter Leah Franzluebbers, ’18, said the team went into the game with intensity.

“It can be intimidating to play a team like that and they definitely underestimated us,” Franzluebbers said. “We came out and played our hearts out, we played the best we played all season. It’s too bad that we had to play the number one seed, but we like to play those good teams because it makes us better.”

During the championship, Schall broke the program single-season dig record, hitting 762 this fall.

“I didn’t know, but it was in the back of my mind, all the articles said it. My job is to keep the point going while digging, so that’s what I tried to do, I didn’t try to think about the record,” Schall said.

Schall and teammate Taylor Samuel, ’16, were both named All-NCAC Honorable Mention following the season.

“The challenge is always playing the number one seed and trying to stay aggressive with your own game while they’re really controlling theirs very well,” Sheehan said. “The challenge is trying to stay with your own game play when you’re getting hammered with your opponent.”

Schall said facing tough opponents was a big challenge of the tournament.

“We faced some really good teams with really good hitters. The biggest challenge was that we needed to capitalize on the easy balls that we got and not be stuck on the fact that there are going to be good hits and they are going to hit the floor,” Schall said.

Sheehan said the women overcame goals by staying positive.

“It being the end of the season and having to have that last push through the last few games was a challenge. We made a commitment to each other and to our coach that we were going to do the best we could,” Franzluebbers said.

Franzluebbers said the best part was playing with her teammates.

“They’re a great group of girls, and when it comes together like I think it did a lot this weekend, we really play the best we can, have the best energy and the best intensity, that’s the best part,” Franzluebbers said.

The team’s mentality this season was a major part of their success.

“The last two seasons have been good as far as will to play, desire to win, passion for the game. This season is equally as indicative of that mentality and passion for the game, wanting to get better every day at practice and being very committed athletes to the process. That’s what defines this team,” Sheehan said.

As offseason training approaches, Sheehan said the team will meet and decide a course of action.

“The offseason is definitely the most important part of the season, it’s when you get better, it’s when you improve on little skills that will make a big difference in your game,” Schall said. “I think we need to make sure we are determined and very dedicated to this off season because we have a lot of potential with a lot of returning players.”

Franzluebbers agreed, saying after a break and rest period, the team will start conditioning.

“It’s going to be rebuilding because we’re losing a couple seniors this year, but there’s several younger players who will step up into those roles,” Franzluebbers said.