by Jessica Carrillo
Thursday night, the Benedictine Eagles Volleyball team was defeated by Edgewood College in the Northern Athletics Conference semifinals match by a score of 3-1, bringing their season to an end
The season didn’t end in complete disappointment, as plenty of Eagles received honors from the NAC. Head Coach Jen Wildes was named NAC Coach of the Year after leading the girls to a successful season and ranking them first in the league in assists and kills.
“It’s nice to be recognized by my peers because it’s something the coaches all vote on,” stated Wildes. “It’s not something I necessarily set out for though. The way the girls play is much more important and what I put all my focus into.”
Along with Coach Wildes’ recognition, four players also made the All-Northern Athletics Conference team.
Sophomores Brooke Bowman and Candice Cuppini received First Team All-NAC recognition, and fellow sophomore Haley Fitzgerald received NAC All-Sportsmanship honors. Bowman finished with a total of 122 kills, tallied 74 digs and led the Eagles with 81 total blocks, while Cuppini led the team with 338 kills and had a team high .272 hitting percentage. Also, on top of her sportsmanship, Fitzgerald tallied 93 kills and 25 aces and finished third on the team with 305 digs.
Also, Abby Sattler was named NAC Freshman of the Year and received All-NAC second team honors. The setter led the conference in assists during NAC play.
“It was great to see the girls being recognized,” said Wildes. “It was a well balanced team this year with contributions from everyone, but they worked very hard this season and deserved it.”
The Eagles had a fairly young squad this year with there being no seniors on the team. It is very likely all of the current players will be returning to action next season for competition.
“We worked on a lot of different things this year, and with everything that was thrown at the girls they took it and never made excuses,” explained Wildes. “I feel like sometimes it’s easier to get things done when they’re young and that was definitely the case with this group.”
While the Eagles are still reflecting on this past season, it is always in the back of one’s mind what could be in store for later action.
“We haven’t really thought about next year,” noted Wildes. “We’ll all meet as a team and talk about this season, but we know that in the long run it will help us out a lot down the road.”
The girls finished the year with an overall record of 18-14, going11-2 in the NAC and capturing second place in the conference during the regular season.