Volleyball smashes Wisconsin Blast tournament


Kevin Cramer

Volleyball team serving in a game against Simpson (OH) on Saturday, September 3rd 2022

Kevin Cramer, Women’s Sports Assistant Editor

UW-Whitewater women’s volleyball played their first games of the season as the team hosted the Wisconsin Blast tournament on Friday Sep. 2 and Saturday Sep. 3 at the Kachel Fieldhouse. The tournament included eight different teams including the Warhawks, who finished with a 4-0 record. Whitewater picked up two wins on Friday followed by another pair of wins Saturday to make them undefeated on the season.

On the first day of the tournament, Whitewater won their first two matches against

Volleyball team huddled in a timeout against Finlandia (Mi) on September 3rd, 2022 (Kevin Cramer )

Loras (IA.) and Wartburg (IA.). The Warhawks easily swept Loras with 3 sets to 0 and defeated Wartburg shortly after allowing them to only win one set. 

Whitewater kicked off their Saturday slate with a matchup against Finlandia (MI.). In the first set, the Warhawks won easily, 25-8. In the second set, Finlandia got out to a 5-1 lead but Whitewater fought back to win the set 25-21, to take a 2-0 lead in the game setting up a potential sweep. In the third set Whitewater completely took control as they won 25-9 to complete a three-set sweep of Finlandia.

Payton Kuepers had a game high of 8 kills for the Warhawks while Joslynn Perala had a team high 7 kills for Finlandia.

Whitewater head coach Stacy Bourdreau was pleased with how her team played through their first three games but is aware of potential improvement. 

“There can still be work done to improve the team, but nonetheless, it is always great to start off the season undefeated, especially at home,” Boudreau said. 

In the second and final game of the day for the Warhawks,

#14 KellyAnn Sotiros prepares to serve in a game against Simpson (OH) on Saturday, September 3rd 2022
(Kevin Cramer )

they took on Simpson College (IA). Whitewater had a lead of 10-2 in the first set and went on to win the first easily by a score of 25-8. The second was more highly contested however Whitewater led most of the set and they took the set 25-15. Simpson brought everything they had in the third set. The Simpson Storm had a 14-11 lead midway through the set. Despite the strong effort by Simpson the Warhawks pulled off the set victory by a score of 25-20, completing their second three set sweep of the day.

Allyson Warburton led the team with 10 kills in 15 attempts in Saturday’s second game. Whitewater’s great showing at the tournament earned the team a 4-0 start to the year.

“I’m very happy for our team’s performance obviously to come out in the weekend 4-0,” Boudreau said. “We don’t play very many four match weekends, so it was great to come out and get victories in all four games. I was proud of the way my team competed. I was proud of the energy they had on the court and then I think at times we had high level executions, so that makes it exciting for the future. We have things we want to get better at, and I think this was a great opportunity for us to kind of see some of these things and to see what we need to focus on. I’m very happy with my team’s performance.”

Boudreau hopes to improve in particular on the team’s consistency before their next game at Elmhurst University on Tuesday, Sept. 6th

 “I think throughout the sets we had some really great moments and then we may go through some moments where the other team is able to score a few points on us. So, I think kind of cutting down some of those rallies from the other team and I think that is kind of based on being more consistent with our serving, but I think all of our hitters did a great job. We had different people scoring and we got a very good offense, so just kind of capitalizing on our opportunities,” Boudreau said.

The Warhawks will travel to Illinois this week to take on Elmhurst on Tuesday Sep. 6, while hoping to keep their momentum from their impressive weekend performance.