The University of Dallas Volleyball team spent Saturday and Sunday in San Antonio, Texas playing four games against conference foes. The Crusaders posted a 2-2 record over the weekend. One of those two wins was against Trinity University, whom the volleyball team had never beaten in program history.
The Crusaders opened the weekend against Schreiner University, claiming a 3-1 victory. The Dallas players thought that it was a passable performance against a mediocre team.
“Schreiner wasn’t very good … slowly but surely we picked them apart,” said Diana Hassink, a sophomore defensive specialist. “It was a good game. It wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst.”
Texas Lutheran University (TLU), the Crusader’s next opponent, was a team sorely lacking any semblance of sportsmanship.
“The players were being very obnoxious,” said Hassink. “Whenever we served, they would scream … nobody does that in college volleyball.”
Hassink also recounted that their opponents would cheer derogatorily whenever the Crusaders made substitutions. Down 0-2, the Dallas women finally responded to the antagonism of the TLU players.
“By the third game, we said, ‘this is ridiculous. They have no right to be that obnoxious to us. If you’re gonna be loud, we’re gonna be even louder,’” Hassink said. “Slowly, we just started getting up energy, and we just started hitting so much better … we were not going to let their rudeness get us down in the game,” said Hassink.
The Crusaders won two straight sets to force a deciding fifth set, but could not complete the comeback, falling 2-3 to TLU.
The Crusaders began playing on Sunday against Southwestern University, ranked 18th in the country in Division III volleyball. Southwestern is an intelligent team, and placed a special emphasis on defense.
“[They were] a really solid defense team,” said Hassink. “They were just picking at our weak parts … they had the upper hand.”
The last game of the weekend was against the host team, Trinity University. The Crusaders surged out to take the lead, 2-0.
“The first two games were great,” said Hassink. “High energy, so much fun … we were playing really well as a team, not letting any balls hit the floor.”
But the Trinity women responded by winning the third and fourth sets. The Dallas players showed resilience in the fifth set, coming from behind to defeat Trinity for the first time in program history.
“We came out, we were actually a little bit behind, but then we came back and we were fighting,” said Hassink. “The last point, we fought so hard. Lexi [Noriega] came up and just destroyed the ball. It was such a great ending … the highest point we could have ended on.”
The historic victory against Trinity gives the team new passion as they continue to play foes in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
“This is a turning point in our season,” said Hassink. “We are so ready to really face teams and not give up. It gave our team a whole new energy and really gave us this fire that we needed.”
The Crusaders, who have traveled for the past four weekends, will be able to rest and refocus through the coming week. The team plays only one contest this week: a home game on Thursday against Arlington Baptist College.