The women’s volleyball team hosted its annual Allegheny Gator Invitational, closing the weekend 3-1 against Thiel College, D’Youville College, Westminster College and Grove City College.
“We did a good job of fighting hard and not letting the small mistakes get in the way of the big picture,” said libero Terra Schall, ’18.
Schall moved into the program’s top 10 for career digs over the weekend with a total of 82 digs and was the Gators’ All-Tournament Team nomination.
“I think the number one thing the team did well this weekend was energy,” said outside hitter Hannah Cubarney, ’18. “It’s something that we have been trying to focus on in practice and we’re trying to bring to our games.”
Cubarney led the Gators with 15 kills on Saturday.
Though the Gators came out with a winning record, outside hitter and defensive specialist Karissa Welker, ’18, said losing the first two sets against Westminster College was hard for the team.
“Sometimes that can be a challenge for teams, but we held strong and won it in five. Even when it starts to not go your way, you have to keep your head up and play positive and give your hardest,” Welker said.
A change the team has faced this season was a shift in coaching when Assistant Coach Kelli Trautmann took over as head coach for the season while Head Coach Bridget Sheehan is on a leave of absence.
“Not having Coach Sheehan there is the biggest change from previous seasons, but Coach Trautmann has done a really great job stepping up and leading our team this year, and we are really grateful to have her,” Welker said.
Schall said the team knew this season would bring new experiences and techniques.
“We all respect [Trautmann],” Schall said. “She’s intense and she’s young but you can’t tell in her coaching. One thing I recognize is even in our huddles, she knows what to say to motivate us.”
With changes and challenges, the players are looking to improving on what they have done so far.
“We have a really strong foundation as a team right now, and I think we can only go up from here,” Cubarney said. “I’m excited because it’s only the beginning of the season and I feel like our entire lineup is clicking very well.”
Following a weekend of play and preparing for the rest of the season, Schall said the women are looking to reaching their goals of performing well in conference play.
“I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where the season takes us,” Welker said. “This weekend was a really great showing of how well we can play when we come together and work towards a common goal. Now that we see what we’ve done well and what we need to work on, I’m excited to take it from there and keep working harder as we head into conference play.”
The Gators will compete Friday, Sept. 16, at the St. John Fisher Tournament in Rochester, New York, and open conference play on Sept. 24, at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.