The DePauw University Tigers volleyball squad opened up their season this past weekend in St. Louis, Mo. at the Baden Invitational. In total, they played four games and came out with three victories.
DePauw has done a lot in preparation for this season, as they are trying to improve upon the 19-11 record that they posted last year. Sophomore outside hitter Suzanne Peters put into detail exactly what work has been done to prepare the team for this season.
“We had our lift program over the summer, and I think everyone stuck to it pretty well. Everyone worked hard on trying to lift every week, and when we came and did our physical testing, mostly everyone’s numbers went up, so that was really good,” said Peters, “And then, for our preseason, we had three-a-days and two-a-days. We put in a lot of work in those practices too, and we’ve been conditioning a lot to help us start off the season.”
On Friday, they opened up with a doubleheader against Edgewood College and then Washington University (Mo.). The Tigers won both matches. They beat Edgewood 3-1 and they also defeated Washington 3-1.
The Tigers continued their play on Saturday facing Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Hanover College. They beat Hanover 3-0, but were unable to maintain their winning streak as they fell to Rose-Hulman by a score of 3-2.
Junior setter Keegan Kollias expressed that although it’s tough to lose when the match is taken to five games, it’s just part of the sport.
“We were obviously disappointed, but I think it’s a good learning opportunity for us because we play them again in a couple of weeks,” said Kollias, “I also think it brought us closer together because you go through ups and downs throughout the season, so this is just the beginning of that.”
From senior middle hitter Elisabeth Wilson’s perspective, the Tigers 3-1 performance on the weekend was indicative that they were able to execute what they are stressing in practice.
“I think we played really well for an opening weekend and we showed all of the things that we were working on,” said Wilson, “The mental toughness, being in form, being able to push through long games to beat a really highly ranked team.”
Although they have begun the season on a high note, Wilson has stressed that there is still work to be done.
“We’re really focused on rotation sets that can be strengthened, hitter approaches that can also be stronger, as well as footwork,” said Wilson.
The Tigers next games will be on Friday, Sept. 9, when they travel to Bluffton University to play in the Sommer Center Spiketacular. They will open up against Heidelberg University at 6 p.m. and they will finish up against Bluffton at 8 p.m.