Women’s volleyball falls short in quarterfinals

In the Sept. 24 issue of the Wire, we profiled the Women’s volleyball team under the title, “Wheaton Women’s volleyball remains ambitious in the 2014 season.” At the time the team was on a winless streak but were still confident that this year was going to be a major success for them. Looking back at an exciting season, in which the Lyons finished with an 18-14 record, statistically their best record in 7 years, that earned them a bid in the NEWMAC tournament. The team deserves all of the credit for their confidence and a grind to the conference tournament.

After a sluggish start to the season (losing three straight early on), the team gained their footing quickly with a series of home wins against Rhode Island College, Connecticut College, and Keene State. As the season progressed, big wins against conference rivals such as Wellesley, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Mount Holyoke, the Coast Guard Academy, and Smith, helped the team earn the NEWMAC bid that only a year previous had alluded them by one win. The team pushed themselves into the NEWMAC tournament, appearing in the quarterfinals before a 3-1 loss to Wellesley on Nov. 4 to end their season at home in Emerson Gymnasium. 

Captains Deirdre Wilson ’16 and Kendall Jacobs ’16 spoke upon a few high points this season. “There were many highlights in the season to be proud of,” said Wilson. “[The games against] Coast Guard and Wellesley were two great matches that showed us, and this conference, what we are capable of doing.”

Another highlight of the year came from the Hall of Fame Tournament against top competitors such as Bowdoin, Wesleyan and Williams. “We played at a high level all weekend and worked hard to limit our errors,” said Wilson. 

“I would say [the highlight of our season was] when we beat Wellesley for the first time in their home gym,” said Jacobs. “We made Wheaton volleyball history and it was a great game.”

With the season over, Wilson, Jacobs and the rest of the team look forward to next year. “Our goal for next year is to take our division by storm and win the NEWMAC title,” Jacobs said, before adding, “We just want to be the best we can possibly be for next year.”

While it’s great to know what your goals are, achieving them takes work and careful analyzing of errors, something both captains are acutely aware of. “There is room for improvement on any team, even if you are the best,” said Wilson. “Next season as a team we will focus on serving tougher in order to get our opponents out of system. Another area we believe we can improve is blocking at the net. We want to slow down as many balls as possible, or send them right back at the team that hit against us.” 

Overall, the team hopes to be more consistent and be ready to compete against any team that stands in their way of achieving NEWMAC glory.

While it’s going to be tough to match the same level of excellence that the team displayed this year, the Lyons only look to get better next year. The past three years the team has been on an upward swing, each year getting stronger. Making it to the NEWMACs this year looks to be the beginning of something even bigger for next years season.