Volleyball looks toward 2020

Photo by Hannah Abbate
Grace Chavez serves the ball Nov. 9 against Kansas Wesleyan University in Sterling. The Warriors lost to the Coyotes in four sets.

To start out the month of November, Sterling College’s Lady Warriors had a home game against Avila University, and this game was special to some players because it was Senior Night.

The ladies didn’t disappoint the crowd as they would beat Avila in three sets.

The top producers were Annie Connor with 20 kills and Jordan Graham with 11 kills, leading the way to the Warriors win.

Sterling College went on to lose the next game to Southwestern College, 4-1.

The next game was the last home game for the Warriors as they would go up against Kansas Wesleyan University, but they lost the game 4-1.

For seniors Madaline Carr, Hailee Hoskinson and Jordan Graham, this was their last home game.

Sophomore Grace Chavez said senior night was bittersweet.

“We were excited to play senior night, but so sad to play one of our last games with our senior girls,” she said. “We will miss them so much but are so proud of their careers.”

That loss wasn’t be the end for the Lady Warriors as they would move on in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament.

Their first match was against Tabor College, and Sterling won, 4-1, to move in the tournament.

Unfortunately, this second match brought an end to season for the warriors has they lost to the University of St. Mary in three sets.

Junior Carmin Butterworth said the season went OK.

“I think at first we struggled but towards the end of the season it got so much better for us,” she said.

Head Coach John Harding agree.

“We finished the season well,” he said. “We continued to improve up to and through our final match as we competed at a high level against the regular season champions in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. There was a lot of good growth throughout the season, and the team began to come together and gel in the last several weeks of conference competition.”

With the season over and the off-season coming up, Harding said he has been doing some self-reflection.

“In hindsight that are always things you feel like you could have done differently that may or may not have affected how the season went,” he said. “The main thing that I personally think I could have done differently is to be clearer about some team goals at the beginning of the season. I think this would have helped us connect sooner as team and potentially accomplish more than we did.”

Looking ahead, Butterworth is hopeful for next season.

“I think if we have good friendships and good communication, I think that we will have a great year next year and make it far,” she said.

Harding said the key to victory next season with be having strong minds. We plan to work hard this spring to hone our skills and prepare not just physically, but mentally for the 2020 season,” he said. “I expect us to compete for a bye in the conference tournament and challenge the top teams in the KCAC throughout the season.”

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