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Falcon volleyball heats up the court

October 12, 2006

After starting the regular season with a record at about .500, the UW-River Falls women’s volleyball team has turned it on in the last few weeks going 6-0, including a tournament win.

The Falcons’ record currently sits at 15-8, and they are 4-2 in WIAC play.

“We’ve been a really good team [all season],” Head Coach Patti Ford said. “We’ve played really tough competition.”

The hot streak started at the Simpson Tournament in Indianola, Iowa, when the Falcons went 4-0 to win the tournament. The Falcons redeemed themselves for early season losses against one of the teams in the tournament.

“Revenge is sweet,” senior Molly Thompson said. “We really were the better team, and we had a chance to prove ourselves again.”

Falcon senior Kate Thompson received her 1,000th career kill over Webster on the first night of the tournament.

“It was pretty cool,” Kate said. “[Patti] Ford told me I was going to get it that weekend, but I didn’t know when it was going to come.”

She was also named WIAC Player of the Week.

“It was extremely back and forth,” Ford said of the Simpson Tournament. “Some of our games went up to 40. We played a lot of volleyball. We were successful even when we weren’t winning games.”

Last Friday night, the Falcons played UW-Platteville at home and won the match 3-0 with scores of 30-20, 30-26 and 30-25. They also hosted UW-La Crosse on Saturday and won 3-1.

“We are solid right now,” Ford said. “That’s what you have to hope for in October.”

With the teams experience, they knew coming in they were going to be successful.

“There are six seniors on the roster; we expect them to be successful.” Ford said. “Our core group is these six girls.”

The Falcons traveled to UW-Stout on Wednesday night and picked up their seventh win in a row, by a 3-1 margin.

The Falcon offense is very strong.

“[With] Andrea Geehan, Kate Thompson and Kat Krtnick, the defense can’t key on just one person,” Ford said. “They’re all capable of scoring.”

With capable scorers and strong defenders, the Falcon team is one to contend with.

“We’re a team to watch,” Molly said. “We’re creeping up in conference.”

With seven seniors on the team, they can all lead in different ways. Kate is the quiet leader.

“Because there are so many others it’s kind of easy to be myself,” Kate Thompson said. “I can lead in different ways, in a more one-on-one way.”

This weekend, the Falcons are at the Elmhurst Invitational at Elmhurst College in Illinois. They will play four games Friday and Saturday. 

With only a few weeks before playoffs, the Falcons hope they haven’t hit their peak just yet, but will continue to rise.

“We need to keep playing the way we’re playing,” Kate said. “With a positive attitude and stay in the game mentally.”