Conference Championship slips away from Warhawk VB


Dane Sheehan

Erin McNeil splits the UWSP blockers during the first set.

Ethan Maurice, Sports Editor

The final point of UW-Whitewater’s Conference Championship defeat reflected the entire match against UW-Stevens Point.

The Warhawks already gave themselves opportunities to end the match, but couldn’t capitalize. They dropped set four, which they led 16-12.

That led them to set five, past a 8-8 tie and here, to 10-14, match point in favor of the Pointers.

As the serve came, and the volley progressed, one of the Warhawks hit the ball into the right side of the net, and saw the entire season flash before her eyes. The opening 5-match winning streak, a top-10 national ranking, and domination at home at Kris Russell Arena’s had led the Warhawks down a road looking to end in another banner.       It would’ve been tragic to end the season on such a simple mistake.     But then the Warhawks rebounded and played it over the net. This  team has enough talent to get themselves out of bad situations.

“I think we fought hard. I think our effort was there, we just missed on execution,” said head coach Stacy Boudreau.

Credit goes to Stevens Point. Their top senior, April Gehl wasn’t afraid to punish every mistake made by the Warhawks. That’s also the way the final point would go.

As the Pointers passed the ball around, they built momentum. They had escaped defeat in set 4, and welled up just enough energy to finally stretch the Warhawks.     Ellie Adams pushed the ball over, Whitewater committed another error in receiving, and just like that, the WIAC Conference championship slipped away.

The crowd, which was evenly split between Stevens Point and Whitewater fans, went wild, and the Pointers rushed the court, to be crowned conference champions.

The Warhawks graciously rushed to shake hands, before quietly disappearing into a locker room, vacating the home floor they performed so well on all season as the Pointers celebrated and took victory photos.

“We believed. We wanted it so bad,” said Pointers coach Lyndsay Kooi. “They just believed, and I think when you have that, success can come.”

Getting into the NCAA Tournament just ten days ago now is full of uncertainty. The NCAA selection show is on Friday, Nov. 15.