By OLIVIA TAYLOR
The University of Mary Washington Women’s Volleyball team is coming off of a spectacular 2016 season, where they earned the title of Capital Athletic Conference Champions and made it to the NCAA tournament quarterfinals in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Lady Eagles hoped to use that momentum heading into this season as well as the invitational. Last weekend, UMW Women’s Volleyball hosted the Mary Washington Volleyball Invitational at the Anderson Center. The invitational consisted of five teams including, Mary Washington, Berry, Johns Hopkins, Averett, and Susquehanna.
According to the team’s website UMW came into the invitational ranked in seventh place with a 4 to 1 record, falling only to Randolph-Macon two days before.
Junior, Ryan Cho, commented on the importance of their performance in this invitational and said, “It’s our chance to implement what we’ve been working on in practice to real game situations without the pressure of Conference games.”
The tournament demonstrated some tough competition for the Eagles and resulted in a 0 to 4 match record for the weekend. The Eagles managed to steal a set from each of the teams except for Berry. All of the matches were hard fought losses for the Eagles with a majority of the sets being lost by less than 5 points.
According to junior Leslie Walters, the team has a lot of room to grow and improve.
“We got to see what works and doesn’t work for our team and to see exactly what points we have to work on [during] practice this week,” Walters said. She is a middle hitter who currently leads the team with hitting percentage and hits per set.
This year’s team is relatively young so they will face the challenge of trying to figure out how to build chemistry and to figure out what works for them as a team.
“As a young team we are still trying to mesh and find our team identity for our future, we have a lot of growing and learning to do such as avoid making unforced errors, to stop a team from getting a run on us and to finish out a set,” said Walters.
After the disappointing results of this weekend the Eagles look toward the rest of their season. “No one was satisfied with the results of our games but there were many spurts of greatness and shows the potential we have as a young team,” said Walters. They intend to capitalize on this potential in their upcoming games.
“It’s an awesome opportunity to play solid teams that we don’t always get an opportunity to see,” said Cho
The Eagles head to the Ithaca, New York for the tournament this weekend to face off against New Paltz and Franklin & Marshall. The Eagles return to their home court on Sep. 23 to face off against Washington & Lee for Eagle Nation Day.