Volleyball misses conference berth with two tough losses

By Tina Schrage

The Lawrence University Volleyball team, after going undefeated in the month of October, faced two tough losses this past week on Oct. 24 and Oct. 28 when they fell to Ripon College and St. Norbert College.

The volleyball team started the month strong winning all of their games in October, including wins against conference foes like Grinnell, Lake Forest and Knox.

Volleyball’s last win was their Alumnae Day game on Oct. 17 against Northland College. The Lady Vikes’ had a dominate performance and defeated Northland in three straight sets. In this game, freshman defensive specialist Katie Kumbalek led the team with 15 digs. Freshman Arianna Neumeyer shared the lead with sophomore Rachael Wuensch, with 7 kills apiece. Sophomore Sydney Nelson led the team in assists with 17. Despite the impressive wins this past month, the Lady Vikes saw their winning streak end at the hands of Ripon.

In a tough match against Ripon on Oct. 24, Lawrence’s Volleyball team fell 3-0, breaking their six—game winning streak. That Saturday was also the Lady Vikes’ Senior Night with only two senior girls to be recognized. Each match was relatively close. Senior Megan Conley led the Lady Vikes’ offensive with nine kills, followed by senior Terese Swords who had six kills. Nelson aided the team with 13 assists, while Neumeyer helped the team with 11 assists.

After the loss to Ripon, the Lady Vikes’ sat in fifth place in the Midwest Conference with a 6-3 conference record. However, after Wednesday’s loss to St. Norbert, the Lady Vikes were eliminated from competing in the conference tournament. St. Norbert, ranked fourth going into the game defeated the Lawrence volleyball team in three straight sets. This defeat will put St. Norbert solidly into the last conference tournament spot with a 7-2 record.

While this loss may be disheartening for the Lady Vikes, the women’s volleyball team finish with a winning conference record of 6-4. The volleyball team is also a young team with most of its roster returning next year. The freshmen who have been playing, have gained a vast amount of experience at the collegiate level and the team has bonded significantly to help with what is to come next season.