Volleyball sweeps in season-opening tournament

Annika Bahnsen, Staff Writer

While most students have repopulated campus within the last few weeks, some athletes have been here much longer. They’ve been preparing since before the beginning of the semester to compete or make up games they lost due to the ongoing pandemic. 

With various seasons maintaining an inconsistent schedule due to COVID-19, any chance the athletes get to play is worth savoring. This optimism was the case for Westmont’s women’s volleyball team. 

The usual volleyball season takes place in the fall, but was postponed this year due to COVID-19. After months of waiting, they played in a small tournament against a few non-conference teams at the University of Saint Katherine. Leading up to the tournament, the Lady Warriors had to quarantine for a week due to a COVID-19 exposure. This unpredictability is the nature of sports during these unprecedented times.

The quarantine experience did not stop the team from showing up and having a successful weekend at Saint Katherine’s in San Marcos, California. The Lady Warriors came out with a bang, sweeping the competition at the tournament. They defeated the University of Saint Katherine 3-1, Providence Christian 3-0, and Life Pacific 3-0. 

Head Coach Ruth McGolpin talked about how the weeks leading up to the tournament impacted play.

“The winter break did not slow us up, nor did not practicing for a week leading up to the tournament because of a possible exposure to COVID-19,” said Coach McGloplin. “I was amazed at their resilience and their courage to lay themselves out for the team. Volleyball is such a team game and they gave each of themselves as individuals for the betterment of the team.”

Coach McGolphin highlighted a few players who shined during this tournament. 

“The players that stood out were certainly our seniors in Madison Morrison as libero, Hali Galloway and Brooklynn Cheney as outside hitters. All three provided leadership on and off the court and were our backbones in the serve-receive.”

Additionally, many new players on the team finally started their collegiate volleyball careers. One of these players was freshman outside hitter Phoebe Minch. She had six kills and an ace in the game against Providence Christian.

Minch commented on the tournament and how quarantine influenced the team.

“We played really well as a whole team,” Minch declared. “We came out a little rusty in the beginning because of the break, but quickly got out of it and you couldn’t even tell we hadn’t practiced in a week. I think we are looking to improve our serves and serving tougher as well as the connection between our setters and hitters.”

This tournament is only the beginning for the volleyball team. With the desire to play during this unpredictable time, the team will continue their season in the upcoming weeks, as they hope to keep the winning streak alive. 

The women’s volleyball team is set to play Vanguard University on Tuesday, Feb.16 at home. 

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