The Lawrence University volleyball team was hard at work last week, taking on three games in six days. The Vikings hosted the Ripon College Red Hawks on October 9 and lost 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-23, 25-23). After the disappointing home loss, the team traveled to Beloit College to take on the Buccaneers on October 12 and pulled out a victory. Lawrence swept them 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-22).
The following day, the Vikings traveled to play the tough Lake Forest College Foresters and came up short. Lawrence fell to a score of 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-15). The Vikings’ overall record now stands at 6-13 with a 1-4 record in Midwest Conference play.
Against Ripon, the Vikings took on a very energized team. Each set was a battle, decided by three points or less. After coming back to win the second set to tie the match, the Vikings established a 14-7 lead in the third set. The momentum drastically shifted as Ripon went on to score seven of the next eight points. The teams traded leads the rest of the way, but at crunch time, the Red Hawks found a way to get it done. Junior Betsy Sorensen led Lawrence with 14 kills and freshman Megan Conley added 11 kills. Junior Kathleen Rowland had 35 digs, and junior Diane McLeod recorded 44 assists.
In match one of a weekend road trip, Lawrence easily handled Beloit and swept them in three sets. Only the third set was close as it was decided by three points. Many Vikings got in on the action as three players added eight or more kills. Freshman Terese Swords recorded 13 kills as senior Jenna Picha added 10 and Conley pitched in 8. McLeod notched 37 assists, which put her at 2,007 for her career and makes her second on the Lawrence all time career assists list. Rowland contributed 14 digs and Sorensen added three blocks.
In the second match of the weekend road trip, Lawrence ran into a talented Lake Forest team and never could get any rhythm going. Swords and Conley each had seven kills. McLeod picked up 21 assists and Rowland recorded 15 digs.
Picking up one win in that important stretch of conference games certainly was not what the Vikings had hoped for. Commenting on the Lake Forest game, senior Emma Kane noted, “They came out in control of the match and maintained it throughout. They competed well and we didn’t. It was their senior day and they were coming off a tough loss the night before, so the team came out strong and ready to compete. We just weren’t prepared to rise to that challenge.”
Despite the losses, the Vikings still have important games up ahead against conference opponents. While they find themselves toward the bottom of the standings, anything can happen down the stretch and Lawrence is certainly looking to pick up some victories. Junior Kate Rosenbalm added, “Everyone needs to step up and embrace the position they are put in. From here, we have to keep our heads up and not dwell on our losses. We’re excited for our three game home stand.”
The Vikings next games are Oct. 19 against Knox and Oct. 20 against Monmouth, both are at Alexander Gymnasium.