Volleyball team falls after impressive season


Katie McIlheran

UW-Whitewater Warhawks celebrate win against UW-Eau Claire Oct. 28 2022.

The women’s volleyball team’s season came to an end on Saturday Nov. 12, with their 1-3 loss against the University of Northwestern Minnesota. They won the first set 25-21, but then lost their initial momentum and were defeated by the talented Northwestern team.

“It definitely hurts a lot to lose. There was a sense of sadness, obviously being my and some of my other teammates’ last game, but also a sense of overall accomplishment because we made it so far and farther than we have,” setter and graduate student KellyAnn Sotiros said. “I wish we would have won but this was an amazing year. So definitely bittersweet in a sense overall.”

UW-Whitewater Warhawks lineup after win to tell UW-Eau Claire good game Oct. 28 2022.
(Katie McIlheran)

The team had a strong season with 27 wins and 3 losses. Many of the players also had strong performances this year and they all worked well on the court together to have some good moments.

“I think one of the best moments was definitely the WIAC tournament, getting to host it and getting to be at home for that,” senior libero Morgan Jensen said. “I just felt in control that whole tournament. I felt like my team and I really understood what we wanted to do and what we wanted in each game. And I thought even being at home and getting to raise that trophy and the regular season trophy at the same time was really, really awesome.”

Because the team felt they worked well together and were close, seniors and fifth years like Sotiros and Jensen find it sadder to part ways.

“I think what I’m gonna miss most is when you get to the postseason which is really when you start making the connections with the girls most because now you’ve been with them for like three months,” Jensen said. “So I feel like those relationships were just starting to develop and like I was starting to get really, really close with some of the girls and so I’ll really miss that and of course, I’ll miss you know, the class above me and the people that are graduating and deciding not to come back.”

Jensen herself is still undecided if she’s going to return and play the extra year.

“I’m really gonna focus on school. I have lots of big things coming up because I’m graduating soon. I student teach in the spring so I’m getting ready for that but I have my COVID year to think about and the thing about that is I would be done with school,” Jensen said. “That’s something I have to think about and something I have to talk about with my family and with my coaches and see how that would all work.”

Sotiros was one of the players that decided to return for a fifth year, and said she didn[‘t regret it at all.

“This season I had the privilege to come back for another year because of COVID. And so that was really cool off the bat. My expectation was kind of to just enjoy my last season,” Sotiros said. “It was an amazing season. We have a lot of things that we haven’t had in the last few years. So like conference undefeated and conference tournament champions and then making it to the Sweet 16. That was something that I have never done in my initial four years here.”

With the season being over now, the team can reflect on their performance and plan for next year.

“I thought I performed well. My stats weren’t as good as they were last year but I think that is a big testament to my front row and you know, it’s hard to get the digs when we’re getting aces and blocks. So I felt like I played well with the opportunities that I was given,” Jensen said. “I definitely didn’t see as many postseason awards. Like last year, I was the Defensive Player of the Year and this year I wasn’t able to repeat that. But I feel like I’d rather have a winning team. I’m really proud of them and I think that the girls that are in the class below me will step up in this next season and I hope that they take away a lot from our national tournament games and that they can use that to propel them in the future.”