This past weekend, University of Dallas volleyball travelled to Georgetown, Texas, to compete in their final preliminary SCAC tournament. The Lady Crusaders came into the weekend knowing it would be a great challenge, since they would play three matches against their three biggest rivals. With the loss of a key offensive and defensive player (due to a pulled abdominal muscle), UD players prepared to step up their game.
Friday night’s match against Trinity University kept fans on the edge of their seats. Both teams played aggressively; UD played very well, with great passing and offensive plays – the Trinity Tigers struggled when the Lady Crusaders ran their offense. Some questionable calls by the referees got Tiger fans rowled up, but UD kept its composure. The Lady Crusaders played with passion and determination, yet the match didn’t fall in their favor (15-25; 25-27; 25-22; 18-25).
Although the team was disappointed with the loss, nothing would stop them from playing their hardest. Dallas played their first match on Saturday against Southwestern University, which is ranked first in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. The team made great strides, running offensive plays and blocking aggressively. Even in the tough fight, the Crusaders lost in three (22-25; 18-25; 19-25).
The final match of the weekend, against Austin College (ranked third in the SCAC), brought new challenges to the team. In the first match, Dallas was playing very well and held an edge on the scoreboard. Then, with a tight ball at the net, freshman Emily Caples went up to protect the UD side of the court and came down wrong. What appears to be a bad sprain kept Caples out for the rest of the match. With UD already missing a key player, Dallas was down two key hitters. The entire team came together and stepped up their effort, fighting with everything they had. With three games down, Dallas lost their last match of the weekend (19-25; 19-25; 15-25).
Although this weekend brought three losses, the Lady Crusaders made great progress. The team handled adversity well, and everyone stepped up when it was necessary. The offense ran some good plays, and the defense picked up digs that were normally not converted. The Lady Crusaders keep working hard together with the understanding that their progress in the next two weeks is crucial to their season.
The Lady Crusaders will travel to Arizona this weekend for three crucial matches before the SCAC championships.