The University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point women’s volleyball team took their fifteenth straight victory Saturday, Oct. 22, against St. Norbert College, winning the weekend’s volleyball tournament. The Pointers, originally picked to finish seventh, are ranked number one in the conference and are on their way to the best season in school history.
"We weren’t really sure what to expect given that we only have five returners [none seniors] on our team and nine freshmen...They have done a great job at gelling quickly, coming together and working hard," said Head Coach Stacey White, who is in her eleventh season.
The Pointers’ tournament started at 5:00 p.m. on Friday against Augustana College. Point was on top of their game as they dominated from start to finish. They won in straight sets with scores of 25-9 in each. In their next 7:00 p.m. match, Point defeated Carroll University 25-15, 25-17 and 25-6.
Saturday morning Point faced off against St. Norbert College who was also undefeated in the tournament. Point fell behind early, but a fierce series of volleys, tips, bumps and spikes ensued. The teams battled for victory like hyenas over road kill.
"The ball would float up just next to the net, hovering there, as if in slow motion. Suddenly, out of nowhere, two striking hands would appear. One, shuttling the ball over the net scoring, the other wearing what appeared to be a glove, but you never found out because it moved so gosh dang fast," said an anonymous spectator at the game.
Point won the match 3-1 (23-25, 25-15, 25-14, 25-16) remaining undefeated going into the championship match against St. Norbert.
Point was down early on, but they retained their composure and began to heat up. Soon they were beginning to combust, turning into an unstoppable flaming fireball of domination. Point took another hard-fought match 3-2 (15-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-13).
"Volleyball is a sport of momentum and execution from fundamental skills, and also about mental toughness. You have to play each point and you can’t focus on any mistakes that might have been made," White said.
"Things are looking pretty good. If we beat LaCrosse this Wednesday we will be conference champs... that hasn’t been done in like 30 years, and would be really cool to be a part of. From there we start tourney play for the WIAC conference, then regional, then the NCAA finals," said junior middle hitter Jessica Dredske. "I think the winning momentum is really working good for the team. We are on a streak and no one wants to end it, so everyone is playing extra hard."
Point played a non-conference match Monday against Edgewood College and came out on top 3-1 (23- 25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-15). Their winning streak now sits at 16 wins.
Point rounded out the regular season this week with their sixteenth and seventeenth consecutive wins against Edgewood College on Monday and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Wednesday. The Pointers defeated both teams 3-1 to guarantee themselves at least a share of the WIAC Championship, the team’s first in 30 years. UW-Whitewater and UW-Eau Claire are the only teams remaining with a chance of sharing the crown.
Next for the Conference Champs is the WIAC Tournament, beginning 1 November. The Pointers will found out their seed for the quarterfinals once the final weekend of regular season play wraps up.