Purple Pride for UWSP Volleyball
The UWSP volleyball team gears up for the UW-Stevens Point Invitational. Photo by Kylie Bridenhagen.

Purple Pride for UWSP Volleyball

The Pointer volleyball team hosted a seven team tournament at the Berg Gym where fans packed inside to watch kills and digs from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point team.

The team, now standing at a 14-1 record, was ready for the competition on Sept. 9 and 10. Over the weekend, the girls played four spectacular games.

Game one was played against St. Benedict and ended with a Pointer victory in three matches. UWSP had 62 kills during the game, along with four aces and blocks. With much anticipation, the girls were ready for a win.

“Beating ‘St. Benny’s’ was the highlight of the tournament, they’re always fun to play against,” said senior libero, Bri Piepenbrok.

Game two against Macalester brought another “W” for the girls.

In a four match shutout, the Pointers achieved an impressive 40 kills versus the 11 kills of Macalister’s. Senior Gabby Thomas dominated the second game with nine kills and a strong block.

On Saturday UWSP played Bethany Lutheran College and Bethel University, earning wins in each game. Between both games, UWSP grasped wins in six matches and gave only one to Bethel.

“We went in knowing they were a good team who made it to the Elite Eight last year. We also knew they did not graduate any of their starters,” said senior outside hitter, Kelly Cefalu.

The team focused on excellence and improvement after a weekend of solid playing.

Junior Kendra Kundlinger gets ready to serve the ball at UW-Stevens Point Invitational. Photo by Kylie Bridenhagen.

Junior Kendra Kundinger gets ready to serve the ball at the UW-Stevens Point Invitational. Photo by Kylie Bridenhagen.

 

On the court, “defense is strong. We like to keep other teams at a low hitting percentage,” said head coach Abbey Sutherland.

During Friday’s games, the hitting percentages of opposing teams remained low. In game one St. Benedict’s held a hitting percentage of .107, while in game two Macalester had a percentage of -.108. UWSP maintained percentages above .2 for both games.

The team had some shaky chemistry on the court.

A group of four seniors held a tight clique but, for a new freshman center and other underclassmen stepping up, there is still room for connections to improve, mentioned Piepenbrok.

“You can have a lot of talent, but to win, the chemistry needs to be there,” Piepenbrok said.

To prepare for a weekend of matches the team needs to “stay fresh,” said Sutherland.

A week of grueling practices will keep the team fatigued for the end of the week matches; watching film and taking the time to focus on chemistry will keep the team physically ready for competition.

The UWSP Volleyball team will be hosting a game against UW- Platteville on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

“We love students,” said Sutherland. A student section will be created at the next home game in hopes to rally the UWSP student fans into a powerhouse of energy that the team can build off of.

 

Sydney DenHartigh

Reporter

sdenh702@uwsp.edu

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