Volleyball opens conference play with win

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Evan Halpop

The 11th ranked UW-W volleyball team defeated the No. 17 UW-Stevens Point Pointers on Sept. 20 in a thriller to open their Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference season.

Zach Semancik, Staff Writer

The 11th ranked UW-W volleyball team defeated the No. 17 UW-Stevens Point Pointers on Sept. 20 in a thriller to open their Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference season.

The match ended with UW-W topping the Pointers in five sets (26-28, 25-21, 24-26, 25-20, 16-14).

Stevens Point came out of the gates hot, winning a nail biting set one by capitalizing on Warhawk errors. UW-SP owned a 16-12 lead in the second set before a timeout was called by the Warhawks. Four points later, Whitewater found themselves down 19-13, before going on a 12-2 run to earn a comeback victory and even the match at one set a piece.

“The entire season we’ve been saying stay cool, calm, and collective. That’s been our motto” said senior middle hitter Courtney Wagner “When we get frantic, we start doing things that aren’t us. If somebody messes up, we say “Hey you’ve got this next one, keep being aggressive. We’re just constantly there to back each other up.”

Wagner finished the match with 16 kills and 8 blocks.

The Warhawks used this motto after dropping the third set 24-26. Down two sets to one, both teams battled with each other point for point to a 20-20 tie before Whitewater went on a 5-0 run to force a fifth set.

Set number five stayed with the down-to-the-wire theme that the first four sets had, with no team leading by more than two points until the very end of the set. With the score tied at 10 each, the ‘Hawks won the point, putting the ball in the hands sophomore defensive specialist Elizabeth Tworek, who went on to get two aces in a row and give Whitewater a 13-10 lead, forcing the Pointers to call a timeout.

Moments later, Stevens Point tied the set at 14, and a Warhawk timeout was called.

Out of the timeout, the three seniors stepped up huge with a kill from right side hitter Sydney Racky, followed by a block from Wagner and outside hitter Shelby Clifton to seal the victory for the Warhawks.

“We might not be winning in three, but we can take people to five and still push through that.” said Racky, who lead the team with 22 kills with 2 aces in the process. “(Coach) Ben has been saying all year, you can put your good up against ours and see who’s better, and tonight ours was better. I think if we keep doing that and keep playing Warhawk volleyball, it’s going to take us through the conference very well.”

With the victory, the Warhawks improved to 8-3 overall on the season and 1-0 in conference play.

“Our team really is full of competitors and I think our leaders do a really good job of showing no one wants to leave anything on the floor. They really want to give it their all and that’s what they did” said Warhawks Head Coach Stacy Boudreau. “I think our players played with a lot of heart and never gave up.”

Whitewater will look to continue their success this Friday night at 7:00 in De Pere against the St. Norbert Knights.

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