The season is over, and the Spartans surpassed their 20-win goal for the year. Though the Case Western Reserve University women’s volleyball team may have stumbled during their final weekend of the year, the season remains one to be proud of. Next year seems extremely promising as the team looks ahead.
Nine sets were played this past weekend, with three won and six lost, to finish up a year that saw the team go 21-10 to have its eighth winning season in nine years. All three games took place during the University Athletic Association Championship Tournament, and the Spartans were glad to have taken even just a game.
The team played Washington University first and fell in all three sets. First-year middle hitter Haley Sims led her team with seven kills and first-year outside hitter Brianna Lemon contributed a team-high 12 digs during the match. Second-year setter Shannon Carroll helped get the ball to her teammates as best she could, tallying 17 assists.
Next, CWRU took on New York University. The first set was a blowout, 25-13 in favor of the Spartans. The next two sets were closer, but the Spartans stayed on top regardless. Lemon kept her team on top with 11 kills and also wouldn’t allow the opposition a chance, adding 10 digs. She carried the team on her shoulders to keep them alive in the tournament. The win gave the team a ticket to the fifth-place match against the University of Rochester.
Against Rochester, things did not go as well as the Spartans may have hoped. The first set went to Rochester 25-18 and the next two were nail-biters that CWRU could simply not finish strong enough in. They dropped the second set 25-23 and the third set 26-24.
Lemon led the squad again on offense with 13 kills. On defense, first-year defensive specialist Christine Tamura locked things down with 12 digs. Right behind Tamura was second-year libero Karina Bondelid with nine digs, doing what she could to try to give her a team a chance as the final two sets neared their ends.
Despite losing twice with only one win at the tournament, they achieved their goal of reaching 20 or more wins on the year. The relative youth of the team’s leaders is also incredibly promising. With first-year students such as Lemon, Sims and Tamura there to do what they do best, the squad is well set up for a strong run next year. This is not even mentioning the incredible season-long performance of second-year student Bondelid, and the always-necessary help of Carroll to get the ball to her hitters.
The talent that led this year’s team to 21 wins is still young, and that should scare the competition in the years to come. Don’t neglect the volleyball team next year—they are poised to win a lot more than 21 matches.