Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Veteran Team Eyes Playoffs

Veteran Team Eyes Playoffs
Dan Pomykalski

By Ryan Altman Sept. 3 2014


The UW-Whitewater Warhawks women’s volleyball team and its head coach Stacy Boudreau are looking to avenge an early postseason exit just one year ago.

Following a first-round loss to Washington University in St. Louis in last year’s NCAA Division-III national tournament, Boudreau said she is counting on a combination of senior leadership and a talented freshman to make an extended run in the postseason in 2014.

“We are very excited for this season with such a veteran squad with talented returners and freshman that have fit in very well,” Boudreau told “We have had very positive senior leadership with four seniors that are all focused on the team and achieving some very big goals this season.”

The ’Hawks went 27-12 (5-3 WIAC) in 2013, finishing third in conference while making their 22nd consecutive appearance in the NCAA D-III tournament.

Senior setter Kim Frei is one of four seniors who will play an integral part of getting the No. 18-ranked ’Hawks back into the national spotlight.

As a junior, Frei led the ’Hawks with 1,411 assists, which accounted for over 84 percent of the team’s total.

She finished second overall in assists and third in assists per match in the WIAC.

Frei believes the leadership provided by the upperclassmen from the 2013 rotation (libero Kelsey Nobilio, right side hitter Ariel Freiertag and middle blocker Kristen Ruchti), among others, will be key.

“I think [the seniors] will have a dynamic role,” Frei said. “We all know each other really well, and the seniors are stepping up.”

Between the four veterans, three have earned American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American honors and achieved eight all-conference honors.

Also returning for the ’Hawks is 2013 Midwest Region Freshman of the Year Lauren Pfeifer.

Pfeifer, an outside hitter, recorded double-digit kill totals in 17 of her matches last season.

In addition to the experience that carries over from last year’s roster, the ’Hawks also have several incoming freshmen who could potentially make an immediate impact on the court, including Kennedy McNeil (outside hitter), Enyo Amet (middle blocker), Heather Meyer (outside hitter) and Courtney Wagner (middle blocker).

Boudreau said she is eager to see how much they can contribute on the floor.

“We have great depth in the middle. Each of our middles brings a unique strength to the floor that we will look to take advantage of throughout the season,” Boudreau said.

The ’Hawks depth will be needed both for their conference and national efforts, as it will be tested many times, including a late-season matchup against the defending WIAC champions and D-III national semifinalists, UW-Stevens Point.

The Panthers defeated the ’Hawks twice during last year’s  conference play, and then reached the national semifinals before losing to Cal Lutheran, 3-0.

Included in their non-conference schedule is a road trip to Atlanta, Ga., in mid-September, where the ’Hawks will take part in the Emory Invite, hosted by another 2013 national semifinalist, Emory University.

“We are looking forward to the Emory Invite to play some very good teams and competition we don’t normally see to prepare for the conference season,” Boudreau said.

There are personal milestones on the horizon for Boudreau this season as well.

Not only does 2014 mark her 10th season as the ’Hawks’ head coach, while accumulating a match record of 279-74, but she can also reach the 300 win plateau as early as mid-September.

“[Getting coach Boudreau 300 wins] means a lot to this team,” Frei said. “It’s a really good accomplishment to get her.”

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

The Royal Purple encourages readers to voice their opinions via the online comments section. Comments may be monitored for appropriateness and viewer safety. If a comment is harassing, threatening or inappropriate in nature, it may be taken down with editor's discretion.
All Royal Purple Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Founded 1901
Veteran Team Eyes Playoffs