Emily Caples, Contributing Writer
This weekend the University of Dallas volleyball team started its 2013 season with four matches in the UD Invitational. Matched up against University of Wisconsin-Superior, Millsaps College and Sul Ross State University, the Lady Crusaders ended the weekend 2-2.
The first day, the team lost to UW-Superior in three games. During the matches against Millsaps, it lost the first game, but then made a comeback to win in the fourth set.
During the second day’s matches, held at Arlington Baptist College, UW-Superior won again, this time in a fight to five games. Sul Ross challenged the Crusaders, but ultimately fell in the third set.
Head coach Amy Byfield prepared the team mentally and physically in a tough and productive preseason leading up to the tournament. She stressed the importance of cohesive, inspired and passionate play for success.
The Lady Crusaders welcomed eight new players to the roster this year, adding freshness and dynamic depth to the lineup. Three freshmen made starting debuts: Allison Seager (DS), Jessie Koster (OH/L) and Mairin Guilfoyle (OH).
Guilfoyle brought the team momentum with her aggressive and consistent serve. With the help of sophomore Hailey White, Seager and Koster produced a stellar defensive line, allowing the offense many opportunities to score.
Throughout the weekend, however, the team struggled to put up a solid block, allowing its opponents to capitalize on its weaknesses and gain points. But the matches also highlighted the strengths of the various lineups, showcasing the versatility of the team. This fall is sure to be an exciting season for the University of Dallas volleyball team. Stay tuned!