A week of practice with the right focus and mentality brought success for the University of Dallas women’s volleyball team this past weekend. This week’s practice allowed the team to expand their game; they saw great improvements after trying out multiple lineups, in addition to training players for different positions. These adjustments proved worthwhile, as the Lady Crusaders not only won both their matches this weekend, but did so with great energy, intensity and team chemistry.
The UD volleyball team won their first match against Texas College in a quick three sets (25-13; 29-27; 25-16). In the first set, the UD girls were on fire. Their passing was crisp, and hitters crushed the ball over the net. This match brought much excitement; the team played well and everyone contributed. Many of the players had the opportunity to come in and contribute significantly. In addition to freshman C.J. Broadbent’s impressive serving and defense in past games, she played as setter for the first time in her collegiate career on Saturday, with 25 assists against Texas College. Junior Theresa Wohldmann fueled the fire with 14 kills and 11 digs. Freshman Emily Caples brought out the guns, notching an impressive 15 kills in the first match. Caples reflected on the weekend: “We came out with a lot of energy. That energy combined with our ability to let go of mistakes and “side-outs” quickly helped us gel, ultimately propelling us to win both matches.”
As the day progressed, the lineup changes proved to be a huge contributor to the team’s success. Senior starter Liz Baska was brought from the middle to the left side, giving her more opportunities to swing. In addition, the move allows the team to utilize her passing skills. Junior Emily Meyers was on fire as ‘libero’ (back-row only, defensive specialist, known by her different colored jersey). Although Meyers is frequently known for her “power-house” swing, she made great defensive plays in the back-row against Mid-America Christian University. This match was much more difficult than the previous match, yet Dallas won in four sets (15-25; 25-19; 25-17; 25-12). UD came out slow and hesitant in the first set, a loss. The momentum quickly shifted in the second set. In this pivotal set, the Lady Crusaders came out as a completely different team, taking many leads in the following sets. Senior Danielle Fuchs and sophomore Laura Yokell provided the team with 10 and five kills respectively in the match against Mid-America. Some key factors to the team’s success included serving aggressively to Mid-America and setter Amanda Kitten’s running of the offense. Kitten’s 56 assists were a key component to the team’s victory. Dallas hitters played smart while hitting with power, a deadly combination that Mid-America could not handle.
Special recognition is due to Baska and Meyers for their weekend performance. Unfazed by lineup and position modifications, Baska racked up 20 kills and 22 digs in Saturday’s two matches. Meyers acclimated very well to the libero position, recording 29 digs and seven aces on the weekend. Every other player contributed on and off the court, the sign of a true team.
The Lady Crusaders return to Sherman, Texas next weekend to take on Trinity University at 7 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday Dallas will return to Austin College’s gym to face Southwestern at 11 a.m. and Austin College at 5 p.m. Bring it on!