By Kara Epping and Katie Szaflarski
Women’s volleyball at Benedictine ended the fall season last week. Overall, the girls ended the season with a record of 8-24.
In the final weeks of the season, two starting players for the volleyball team have gone down with injuries within a day apart from each other and were not expected to return before the final match.
Beckie Whitmarsh went down with an ankle injury when the team took on Alverno on a Tuesday night. The team was down two games to none when she was taken to the hospital to get care. As a team, we were able to rally back and win the game in an exciting game five.
At the next practice, the team had an injury from senior Kristie Naylon. At the end of practice, she landed on someone under the net and was immediately taken for x-rays. At the time the team was down to ten out of the thirteen players that started the year.
“Being injured is one of the worst feelings in the world, but I knew that it was time for me to be the best teammate that I could be for the people who are able to play,” said Naylon.
The team played two big games that suffered in losses. The next big game they had was Marian. Luckily, one injured player, Kara Epping, was back from a wrist injury.
The girls took on Marian and Lakeland in a weekend double header. Two losses were suffered.
“We have lost our starting outside and starting middle, which doesn’t hit you the first game after but it hits you the second games after. I don’t think we have dwelled on it too much, we have said this is what we are going to do and this is how we are going to do it,” said head coach Jen Wildes.
The biggest game of the season was against Aurora. The team rallied together to defeat them in three games and gained much needed confidence they needed to succeed in the rest of their season.
Both injured players found out that they both did not have breaks but badly sprained ankles. They participated in extensive rehab and exercises to come back and be prepared to play. Naylon found out that she could return by the Dominican game while Whitmarsh was still out for the rest of the season.
Dominican and Rockford were the team’s last conference games and they had to have been wins for the team to be able to make it to the NACC tournament. The team took on Dominican Wednesday in a very tough match that ended in a loss. If the girls didn’t win against Rockford they would not have made the tournament.
October 24th, 2014 was senior day. Naylon, team captain and senior, was able to make an appearance in the game and help rally to win in four games. The team still had a chance but the fate was really determined by the result of the MSOE and Marian match. The match went to five games but Marian won in five. This meant that the team would not be going to the conference tournament.
The team wrapped up play this weekend with the Eagle Classic where they played four very tough matches that resulted in defeats against Carthage, Elmhurst, North Central, and Bluffton.