The Southwestern women’s volleyball team has soared over the net and into the 2009 volleyball season as smoothly as one of sophomore Lindsay Thompson’s powerful serves. This explosive beginning has been marked by numerous triumphs this season, including some impressive victories in the Southwestern University Invitational last weekend. The team defeated Concordia, Hardin-Simmons, and Wiley in a skillful series of games that enabled the Pirates to
snatch the tournament title.
Coach Hannah Long, who is now in her sixth season of being the head coach of the SU volleyball team, is dedicated to helping the girls improve.
“We need to realize as a team that to get more, we have to do more and not remain complacent with where we are,” Long said.
Ranked #8 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Preseason Poll, the SU volleyball
team is certainly keeping up with the high expectations of their fans. Casey Hatfield, a first year spectator who was quite impressed by the girls after a 3-0 victory over the University of Dallas.
“They definitely show promise,” Hatfield said. “This is one unstoppable team to watch out for in upcoming competitions.”
First-year spect ator and cross country runner Thomas Bobbitt thinks that while the team showed some fight in their win over Concordia, they still have some work to do.
“They looked unorganized and seemed all over the place, at least at the beginning of the game,” Bobbitt said.
The SU volleyball girls attribute their success as a team to hard practices, unyielding effort 110% of the time, and strong leadership from captains and coaches. Seniors Audra Gentry and Samantha Lingamfelter, the co-captains of this year’s team, are looking forward to an exciting season. Kayla Saenger, a first year player, is enjoying being a part of SU volleyball.
“It is hard work, but I also have a lot of fun,” Saenger said. “I love playing with this supportive group of girls.”
In the 2008 season, the team made it to the NCAA Regional Finals before falling to Emory, who would l ater go on to win the NCAA Championship.
“Our toughest competition this year is ourselves, because we can’t let the success of last year dictate how we play,” sophomore Jill Wigington said. “We just have to go out, work hard 0 , and play our game. The girls have worked hard to make a name for themselves as formidable opponents and I have high hopes for the year.”
“Our team is very focused, and we really work well together,” first-year Annie Hutson said. “We are a very cohesive group, and I think that’s 05 apparent when we play. Our season is going well so far, and it should only get better!”