Volleyball looks to spike the competition

by Eli Taylor

Fall sports are coming to a close at Simpson College.

This includes volleyball, which is currently ranked twenty-firstnationally by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, thirdregionally in the NCAA coach’s poll, and tied for second in theIIAC.

The ladies are coming off a big tournament win this weekendwhere they beat a regional opponent, Augustana.

They also had a match against Luther on Tuesday.

They will have the conference tournament to look forward to thisweekend hosted by Wartburg in Waverly.

“We are seeded either second or third going into the conferencetournament. Central is number one and we’re tied right now withWartburg,” said sophomore Ashley McGraw.

“I’m not sure whether we’ll get second or third seed, but I amsure we’ll be successful whichever one we get,” said sophomoreSarah Pearson.

The ladies are poised and ready to explode into the conferencetournament and get a bid to head to the national tournament.

“Our biggest goal right now is to just win the conferencetournament and make it into regional play,” said Pearson.

“We will make it to Nationals if we either win conference orsnag the regional wild card bid,” said McGraw. “We might even haveto whip out ‘the cross play’ to do it, but we will if we haveto.”

Lest the focus should fall completely on the exploits of thisyear, McGraw, Pearson and others have a few years left to enjoy thesuccesses of the volleyball team.

“In terms of the future of our program, I’d have to say it’sreally bright,” said Pearson.

The team is losing only two seniors this year, Liz Whims andRachael Spree.

They will lose only two juniors from the Varsity roster nextyear, Jamie Cusick and Shannon Stewart.

Of the fifteen women on the varsity roster, only four areupperclassmen.

In the sport of volleyball, there are six players on the courtat all times. That means there are no less than two sophomores orfreshmen on the court at all times.

“Volleyball was one of the main reasons I transferred toSimpson. I knew the volleyball program was strong because my sisterplayed here; my other sister, my dad and my grandpa all went toschool here; it just seemed like the logical choice,” saidMcGraw.

“Season might be about over, but we all expect it to lastanother month or so,” said Pearson speaking of the ladies’ goal tomake it to regional and national play.

“It’s always so bittersweet because athletics takes up a lot oftime but we have so much fun that it makes it worth it,” saidMcGraw.

Fun, excitement, adventure, the mystery of the cross playrevealed and the prospects for the future of the program are allvalid reasons for supporting Simpson volleyball.

So, as the now almost culturally clich���� trademark mottoof Nike says, “Just do it.”