Volleyball team captures 14th WIAC championship

The Warhawks came into the WIAC Tournament with an opportunity to keep their playoff fate in their hands.

Sanchez

They got the job done in the semi-final round against UW-Eau Claire and advanced to the championship match to take on UW-Stevens Point.

The Blugolds held their own against the Warhawks, but lost in the fifth set 3-2.  UW-Whitewater had to battle in multiple sets to beat UW-Stevens Point, but the Warhawks finished off the Pointers 3-1.

With the WIAC Championship under their belt, the ’Hawks have earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the 20th consecutive year and the 25th time in school history.

The ’Hawks finished the regular season with a 26-7 record and 7-1 in the WIAC. They will open up the tournament with a match against the University of Chicago at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

The ’Hawks came in expecting to win the conference tournament so they could earn their spot in the national tournament.

“Our expectation is to win. We truly believe that we are the best team there and you know, I expect us to win. If we do what we’re supposed to do, play our game, then we will win this game,” senior Sofia Sanchez said.

The team has made a long journey to get to the national tournament and the coaches have been very helpful keeping the players going when a few players were injured.

“They have been real supportive. We have played through adversity and I think that we all play our best and go out there with nothing to lose,” Sanchez said.

The NCAA Tournament starts this weekend, with the first two rounds on Friday and Saturday, followed by the Sweet 16 on Sunday.

The tournament will be held in St. Louis, where the ‘Hawks lost three of four matches earlier this season at the Washington University National Invitational.

Sanchez says the team is starting to play its best at the right time.

“I think we are peaking,” Sanchez said. “I think we have truly gotten better and better every game. I think we are in a very good position right now.”

Sanchez is a senior and this was her last conference meet.

She admitted that time for any college athletes always seems to disappear.

“It’s crazy that the time has gone by so fast. I mean, four years have just flown by. I’ve loved every minute of it. We just want to make one last run getting to the national tournament.”