The Lawrence University women’s volleyball team faced three tough matches this past week against the Green Knights from St. Norbert College, the Rams from Cornell College and finally the Pioneers from Grinnell College. The Vikings went 0-3 overall.
Senior Beth Larsen said that the games against St. Norbert and Cornell “were both very difficult matches for our team. We played the toughest teams in the conference at the very end of the season.”
Unfortunately for the Vikings, three of their starters were benched for those matches. “That was tough, but I think it made us better as a team. It gave certain people the opportunity to step up and play positions they weren’t necessarily comfortable with,” said Larsen. Senior Jenna Picha stepped up into the rightside position at the last minute to accommodate the lineup change, while junior Kate Rosenbalm also had to step up to set for the team. Larsen explained that “the setter is essentially the team quarterback… they call the plays and run the offense… so this was a HUGE deal. Lots of pressure.”
In the third match against Grinnell, Lawrence was defeated 3-1. Picha stepped up big again for the Vikings with 10 kills, while seniors Shannon McLain and Larsen added nine kills apiece. Junior Kathleen Rowland had 23 digs, and junior Diane McLeod had 24 assists.
Even though the Vikings lost, Picha stated, “The game against Grinnell was one of the hardest fought matches we had this year. The energy on the court was simply amazing. Being our last game, I was very proud of the way that the seniors performed and let everything out on that court.”
The record for the Vikings did not enable them to continue onto the conference tournament, which means that it was the last and final game for the four seniors of the team.
When asked to talk about the end of her career here at Lawrence with the end of this season, senior Emma Kane said, “While things may not have turned out the way I would have liked-some goals we set as a class may not have been reached and general expectations were not met-I don’t regret a single moment of it. I’m thankful for the experiences I had with the team and the opportunities that have arisen because of it all.”
Kane continued, “Mostly though, I’m thankful to have met, played alongside and become great friends with some of the most amazing people I have ever met. I know I wouldn’t have been able to make it through the trials brought on throughout the years without these girls. We’ve stuck through it all together, the thick and the thin, the laughs and the tears and while we may not be able to have memories of a conference championship, I will always remember the many great times with them. Nothing can replace that.”
Congratulations on four years of hard work and dedication to Emma Kane, Beth Larsen, Shannon McClain, and Jenna Picha!