Volleyball heads to Iowa

Annika Bahnsen, Staff Writer

As college athletics start to wind down, many athletes are looking forward to the postseason. One of the teams looking for a successful run in the playoffs is the women’s volleyball team. 

The Warriors finished first in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) play, ending 10-0. Overall, the Warriors finished 14-1, and their only loss comes from their match against Azusa Pacific University. This success has propelled them forward as they won their last regular season game against Benedictine Mesa University Redhawks from Mesa, Arizona. 

The Warriors swept the Redhawks 3-0 in their game last Saturday. This win not only secured their top position, but it also helped them advance to the NAIA National Tournament. 

Third-year Syd Dunn commented on the game’s results and the impact of the seniors on the team.

Dunn commented, “The game went well! I think, as a team, we played well, and we really were held together by our seniors, which was fitting as it was their last time playing in our home gym.”

With this win, the Warriors have a positive mindset going into the National Tournament. The games will be played in Sioux City, Iowa, from April 27 through May 1. The field consists of 24 teams, which will be divided into eight pools of three teams each. The winners of the eight pools will advance to a single-elimination bracket that begins with the quarterfinals. Westmont’s first game in pool play will be against Ottawa University from Kansas, and their second game will be against Grand View University, located in Iowa.

The Warriors are looking for a competitive and successful tournament, a goal first-year Jessie Terlizzi expresses. 

“Our goal obviously is to come home with the national title and we have definitely put in the time and work to do so. Last season, the team lost in the finals, so I know everyone who was there last season is super eager to come out fighting and prove that we have earned that title.” 

Terlizzi continued, “I also think after our last game we got most of our nerves out, and we are ready to compete and finish out our season to the best of our potential.”

The season this year was not normal, due to the cancellation or postponement of many games due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Even with the changes, the Warriors are ready to put on a fight. Fourth-year Patty Kerman expressed her high anticipation for the tournament after a difficult season.

“I’m most excited just to be back in Iowa. We worked so hard this season, overcame so many obstacles to get to this point, and I am just super happy that our hard work has paid off getting us to where we want to be, and I’m excited to play more volleyball!”

The Warriors will play Ottawa University next in the first round of the NAIA Championship tournament on April 27 in Sioux City, Iowa. 

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