After a last-minute rescheduling left the team scrambling to find a tournament to play in, the Eau Claire volleyball team played in the Illinois Wesleyen Classic over the weekend.
The Blugolds won three of the four matches that they played in the tournament to improve their season record to 11-2.
“We played well in parts, but we were a little inconsistent,” said Coach Lisa Herb.
On Friday night, the Blugolds played North Central College (Ill.) and Culver-Stockton University (Mo.), two teams that were also added to the field late. The match against North Central went the full five games, with Eau Claire prevailing 30-20, 23-30, 34-32, 23-30 and 15-13.
The Blugolds were able to take a 2-1 lead against Culver-Stockton in Friday’s second game, but were unable to hold on, losing 30-18, 29-31, 30-27, 22-30 and 12-15.
On Saturday, the Blugolds opened up by defeating Carthage College 28-30, 30-25, 30-27, 28-30, and 15-8. The nightcap was a rematch against Culver-Stockton, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school, and Eau Claire was able to get revenge, sweeping them 30-16, 30-14 and 31-29.
“I’m real happy that we held our own in this tournament,” Herb said. “I’m glad we had the opportunity to play Culver-Stockton again.”
Senior Missy Gehring was happy that the team was able to bounce back in the second match.
“We just got more focused in the second match,” she said. “We kind of lost focus in the first match.”
Gehring thought the team played well over the weekend despite the circumstances.
“I was happy that we were able to win three of four and be able to concentrate with all that’s been going on,” she said.
The Blugolds begin the conference portion of their schedule on Friday when they travel to UW-Oshkosh. Herb thought that their just-completed tournament will help them out in conference play.
“It was definitely good preparation,” she said. “We know we have to play consistently to do well.”
Gehring is looking forward to beginning conference play.
“We have a lot of potential,” she said. “We haven’t played up to our full potential yet. We’re in one of the toughest conferences around.”
Herb said that the team has to take a slightly different approach to conference play.
“We look at it differently because we know the teams from our conference better,” she said.