The Lawrence women’s volleyball team struggled last week, dropping three matches. On September 19, the Vikings lost to the Marian University Sabres in Fond du Lac 3-0 (25-23, 25-11, 25-19). Three days later, Lawrence traveled to Edgewood College in Madison for a triangular. The Vikings were defeated in both matches, first by the Cardinal Stritch University Wolves 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-14) and then by the hosts 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-12). Lawrence’s overall record for the season now stands at 5-9.
At Marian, the Vikings lost a heart-breaker in the first set by two points. Lawrence was unable to recover as they lost the next two sets. Seniors Shannon McLain and Emma Kane, along with junior Betsy Sorensen, led the Vikings with five kills. Junior Diane McLeod had 26 assists and junior Kathleen Rowland recorded 13 digs. Lawrence also recorded four total team blocks.
In their opener of the Edgewood College Triangular, Lawrence was unable to keep up with Cardinal Stritch. Hitting was inconsistent as the Vikings recorded a .056 hitting percentage. McLain led Lawrence with six kills and senior Bethany Larsen had four. McLeod led the Vikings again with 16 assists and so did Rowland with 17 digs. Lawrence tallied for six total team blocks.
The team was unable to regain momentum against the Edgewood College Eagles. The Vikings continued to struggle with their hitting as they produced a .093 hitting percentage. McLain was the kills leader once again with nine. Sophomore Kayla Storm added seven kills and Larsen recorded five. McLeod led the team with 22 assists and Storm notched 13 digs.
After starting the season 4-1, the Vikings have dropped eight of their last nine matches. Lawrence now enters a crucial part of their season as they have 11 games remaining in the regular season, with all of them except one being Midwest Conference matches. When asked how the team can improve, Kane responded “We need to go back to the basics of the game and remember that it’s a privilege, not a right, to play Division III athletics. It’ll all come together from there.”
Despite the recent losses, the Vikings are 0-0 in conference play and their goals of advancing to the four team postseason tournament and to vie for a berth in the NCAA national tournament are still definitely reachable. McLain feels good about the upcoming schedule, adding “Although we’ve gone through a bit of a rough patch, I’m feeling positive about our chances in conference. Recent competition has been tough, but once we build our confidence back up, we’ll be reeling in the wins.”
The schedule is certainly grueling as Lawrence will be playing on back-to-back days multiple times. After facing the Carroll University Pioneers on Sept. 26 at Alexander Gymnasium then traveling to Jacksonville, Illinois on Oct. 5 to face the Illinois College Lady Blues, the Vikings will host Lawrence’s historic rivals, the Ripon College Red Hawks, at Alexander Gymnasium on Oct. 9.