Women’s volleyball secures WIAC tournament title


Katie McIlheran

UW-Whitewater Warhawk players celebrate win against UW-Platteville to advance in the WIAC Tournament Nov. 3 2022.

Kaitlin Geisler, Women's Sports Editor

The UW-Whitewater women’s volleyball team won the 2022-2023 WIAC Tournament title after winning their game 3-0 against UW-Platteville on Nov. 3 and also winning 3-1 on Nov. 5 against UW-Stevens Point. 

In the first game the sets were back and forth with the point scoring, but the Warhawks came out ahead in the sets due to their aggressive serving. Senior outside hitter Jenna Weinfurt came out really strong and had an aggressive defense, with a total of 16 kills and 6 blocks. 

We’ve played Platteville before but it’s like a whole different team when you play them again. And we knew there was a ton riding

Warhawks senior libero Morgan Jensen sets the ball to teammates against UW-Platteville Nov. 3 2022. (Katie McIlheran)

on tonight so you know, I had the whole team behind me,” Weinfurt said. “I knew that they had my backs and we just stayed really confident in that which helped me with my individual game as well.”

Going into the game, the Warhawks were coming off a bye for the first day of the tournament due to their number one WIAC standing. So the team had time to prepare and make a plan of attack.

We wanted to serve aggressively. I think that we did that, though we missed a few too many serves in that first set, but then I think we came back and stayed very aggressive,” head coach Stacy Boudreau said. “They have a really good offense and so we know that we needed to serve tough against them to make it harder for them but the sets were pretty kind of back and forth for a little bit there.” 

Boudreau attributes their win on the first night to doing exactly what they had planned.

“I think we just stuck to the game plan. They went out and executed at a very high level tonight. We had some stellar performances from a lot of our players. So it was just being focused and executing and communicating. I thought they did a great job,” Boudreau said. “Now we’ll have to wait and see who we’re playing on Saturday. But, you know, aggressive serving is a must against any team, especially once you get to this point in the season, so, we’ll definitely keep focusing on that and obviously serve so that we can run our offense.”

On the second day, the sets were equally just as back and forth. The Warhawks won the first two sets (25-20 and 25-22) but then faltered in the third, forcing the game to the fourth set. 

Both UW-Whitewater and UW-Platteville players attempt to block the ball against each other Nov. 3 2022.

“I think we gave them too many points in set three. We started tipping a little bit too much,” Boudreau said. “I just talked to them about being aggressive and being fierce and I think that they came in and out and did that really well.”

The team did end up being more aggressive which led to them winning the set 25-13. They got points quicker and blocked a lot more of UW-Stevens Point’s attacks. Junior middle hitter Kirsten Anderson had the top stats of the game and came out with 12 kills and three blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Allyson Warburton also was one of the players on the team who had a strong defensive game. 

“We did a really good job of setting up the day before, just going over what we wanted to do like blocking assignments and defensive positioning and knowing who the strong hitters were and who to go up against,” Warburton said. “I just think everyone was just on top of their game tonight and everyone knew what to expect from them.”

Overall the Warhawks were able to stay strong and correct their game when needed, which led to their 17th WIAC tournament win. The whole team fought hard and worked together to get this win for some of the older players according to Warburton.

Warhawks player Hailey Mackenthun concentrates to serve the ball against UW-Platteville Nov. 3 2022. (Katie McIlheran)

“I’m so excited. Obviously, as a sophomore, I look forward to many more years to come here. But I’m happy for the seniors that they are able to get this conference championship and a conference tournament championship,” Warburton said. “I just think it’s cool that we’ve made a mark in Whitewater volleyball history.”

Because of this win, they automatically receive a bid to the NCAA tournament. The team is now looking forward to the NCAA regional, where they will be competing next. The regional takes place Nov. 10-Nov. 13.