Senior class sets high goals for season

By Danielle Templin

Sports Editor

   Editor’s Note: The Lady V-Hawks 10-game winning streak snapped by 6th ranked Embry-Riddle.

In recent years, the Viterbo women’s volleyball team has been amongst the top programs in the Midwest Collegiate Conference and also in the country, but their success hasn’t just been building top contending teams. With the development of talent coming in and out in recent years, the secret to success has been embedded in five females who have stuck with the program the past four years, despite many ups and downs.

So far this season, the lady V-Hawks are currently 15-4, with recent wins against in-state rivals UW-Eau Claire and UW-La Crosse, and sweeping their own tournament, winning four straight games. The sensational senior class is leading this high-powered team, dominating all statistical categories.

Leading the way for the V-Hawk offense thus far has been senior setter Stacie Hoffman. Hoffman has 348 assists so far this season, averaging 9.67 a set. But Hoffman’s success isn’t the main reason the V-Hawks have been so dominant thus far.

“This year’s team is one of the best teams for chemistry,” said Hoffman.  “We get along on and off the court, yes there are times when we spend too much time together, but we definitely have fun.  This year is hopefully the year that we can put everything together and make it to nationals.”

With such a talented senior class, and a well-rounded set of role players on the team, Hoffman says the V-Hawk coaching staff has high expectations for the remaining part of the season.

“It is hard to have a lot of pressure sometimes from them, but I would not want it any other way.  They are there to push us and make us better and they are doing everything they can to make our dreams come true and to make this a great season for us,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman’s fellow senior classmates are led by outside hitters, Katie Flock and Kassie McGettigan, middle hitter Hannah Ripp, and libero Jordan Blaken. Their team goals and expectations mirror those of the coaching staff, as hopes and dreams of not only winning the conference title, but also making it to the national tournament inspire the team to continually strive for greatness.  Hannah Ripp expects nothing less.

“I think as a senior we have a lot of expectations for this season. I know that I would love to end my career as a V-Hawk at the national tournament, and I’m sure all of the girls would agree with that,” Ripp said.

As the team looks to reach their expectations for the season, they will face a few obstacles along the way.  As far as the lady V-Hawks’ weaknesses are concerned, the seniors believe becoming more vocal, and maintaining enthusiasm during the entire match, is an obstacle they look to constantly improve upon.

“We need to always be a team on the court and not let our teammates put their heads down when they are struggling,” McGettigan said. “I hope that we are working together as a team and we are all communicating with each other.”

The V-Hawks started conference play Sept. 19, when they travel to St. Ambrose to face the Queen Bees. However, there is one game the V-Hawks have circled on their calendars later this season. On Oct. 31, the team looks to get revenge when they face 8th-ranked, conference rival Grand View, who knocked off the V-Hawks in last year’s conference championship. The senior class, including Hannah Ripp, hopes this year’s game will spark a large crowd, and build momentum entering the conference tournament.

“I’m excited to match up against Grand View this year, especially because they will be coming into V-Hawk territory.  Hopefully, we can have a full student section that night, because having those fans there really does make a difference, and we appreciate all those who come to support us,” Ripp said.

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