Women’s volleyball dominates four-game week

Dylan Piccolo, Staff Reporter

The week of Oct. 8 was busy for the women’s volleyball team, which played four matches in five days and ultimately swept the week of competition.

The first was a WIAC matchup on the road against UW-Platteville Oct. 9. Whitewater eventually took the match 3-1 (25-8, 20-25, 25-16, 25-18), behind a well-balanced attack led by senior outside hitter Amanda Spera, who tallied a team-leading 10 kills.

Spera has recently seen a boost in playing time because of the absence of freshman outside hitter Erin McNeil, and she was ready when her number was called.

“It’s my time to step in and help this team continue to win,” Spera said.

Whitewater hosted a non-conference game the very next day against a competitive Carroll College team who has an overall record of 15-8. The Warhawks won 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 21-25, 25-19). It was a dominant first two sets with the Warhawk defense handling the potent Carroll College attack.

Leading the charge defensively was senior libero Brittany Robinson, who broke a single-game school record with 45 digs. The record was previously held by Kelsey Nobillio who had 44 against Calvin College (Mich.) in October 2012.

It was more of the same from Spera offensively as she led the team in kills with 14, and freshman KellyAnn Sotiros and Paige Manssen lead the team with 19 and 15 assists, respectively.

Whitewater hosted a slate of games Oct. 12 against conference and non-conference opponents. At noon they faced UW-Stout at Kris Russell Gymnasium in a WIAC conference match up.

Whitewater fell down by scores of 3-0 in the first two sets, only to come back both times to take the match from the young UW-Stout team (25-22, 25-20, 25-16). It was a battle in the middle as the Warhawks middle hitter Ashton Doll led the team in blocks which limited UW-Stout’s leading attacker Kennedy Strain. Doll also played well offensively, finishing second on the team with six kills.

Doll was impressed with her team’s play coming off of losses this season.

“We bounce back really well, we always keep our heads up and our losses are always competitive,” Doll said.

Finally, the Warhawks finished their week off against Bethel University (Minn.) who came into the match with a 21-4 record. Although Bethel’s record seemed intimidating, the team stood no chance against Whitewater’s attack as the Warhawks poured on 57 kills at a 30% conversion rate and won the match 25-21, 25-16, 29-27. Spera yet again led the charge with 16 kills.

Head coach Stacy Boudreau was pleased with Spera’s ability to step in this week and continue the team’s success outside.

“She did exactly what we needed her to do, come in and score points for us,” Boudreau said.  “She made the transition seamless for us.”

Whitewater heads to the Elmhurst Invitational next weekend for match ups against Elmhurst (Ill.), Calvin, and Hope College (Mich.).