Volleyball season ends in disappointment

by Alysun O'Brien

Simpson’s volleyball team ended its season this past weekend a way it hoped never would happen.

“Our goal going into the tournament was to win in the semi-final game and take that energy into the final match,” said Head Coach Lana Smith.

The women faced Dubuque on Friday night and battled five games to a victory, winning the match 3-2. The team then faced Wartburg, its toughest challenge.

“We played well against Wartburg,” said Smith. “We had a good match and played them hard.”

The Storm took the Knights to a five game match, which ended with a score of 2-3. That game was played with an overload of effort and took most of the steam out of its final match-up against Loras.

“We played really well against Wartburg,” said junior Liz Whims. “But we didn’t do as well in the tournament as we would have liked.”

Simpson took fourth place after the game with Loras, which ended up with a score of 1-3. The Wartburg Knights went on to smash Central in the finals in just three games.

“This was the best tournament I’ve been involved with in my five years here at Simpson,” said Smith.

The women ended with an overall record of 21-15 and a conference record of 6-3. After this season the Storm will be losing three of its varsity players to graduation – Annika Gustafson, Jessica Nauman and Katie Weisz.

“I think this was my best year personally,” said Gustafson. “I accomplished a lot and was pretty happy with my season after moving positions.”

The Simpson women will need to step up and fill some senior leadership shoes next year, but with many of the returnees already being varsity players, there shouldn’t be much of a problem in transitioning.

“Losing our three senior will make a huge impact on our team,” said Smith. “But we have returnees coming back with experience, so that will definitely help us out.”