Falcon volleyball team boasts impressive win streak
September 17, 2015
When the Falcons volleyball team came into practice in August, they were pretty familiar with their teammates and what they were trying to accomplish.
“We didn’t lose any seniors last year so we knew we would have a solid core of players coming back in roles they were familiar with,” Coach Patti Ford said.
This veteran group of players, led by captains Lexi Pingel and Brianna Muetzel, are already proving that they will be a dangerous team to face once the WIAC conference season comes into play.
After dropping two close matches against Hamline and the college of St. Scholastica to start the season, the Falcons hit their stride at the Lake Forest tournament on September 4 and 5.
The Falcons went 4-0 in the tournament with 3-0 wins over Greenville College and Marian University on the first day. They faced a little more opposition on the second day but still managed wins over host Lake Forest 3-0, and 3-1 over Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) in their final match.
Coach Ford was very pleased with her team’s effort, saying “We played very steady volleyball and managed to also play very clean on our side of the court. The team focused on coming out stronger and all cylinders seemed to be firing together in our 4 matches.”
Captain Brianna Muetzel thought the result could be attributed to how “we played consistently throughout the entire weekend. No matter what our opponents threw at us, we just kept playing our game.”
Amara Meyer and Lexi Pingel were standouts in the tournament, each being named part of the All-Tournament Team. Meyer finished with 36 kills in the tournament, headlined by an impressive 13 kills in the Falcons’ final match against MSOE. Libero Lexi Pingel contributed 57 digs throughout the 4 game tournament, capping off the weekend with a tournament-high 31 digs in the Falcons last match.
The Falcons hope this dominant start can be a great sign for things to come as they get closer to their conference opener against UW-Stout. But the Falcons know they’re going to have to be at peak performance to compete in a WIAC conference that coach Ford describes as “the toughest she’s seen in years.”
“Every conference member has had a successful non-conference record and it will be especially challenging when we’re playing on the road. And with only 7 conference games to determine who will make the conference championships, we need to come out at full strength every single night to be competitive. But if we take one game at a time we will have great chance to be successful,” Ford said.
Brianna Muetzel also is excited about her team’s chances, stating “As we get into conference play I think our main focus is taking every game, every practice, and using it as a way to get better. If we play as hard as we can every chance we get we will be able to reach our highest potential which is very exciting. I am very excited to see what this year has in store for us”.
And with a strong veteran team, the Falcons will be better prepared than most teams because of their experience and team chemistry they’ve been building up over the last few years. Falcons’ coaches and players alike have reiterated how important it is to have an experienced team for when they face tougher challenges down the road.
“As a team with many juniors and seniors, we have experienced all different types of pressure situations, whether it be traveling to Illinois for our preseason tournament or our first conference game, we’ve experienced them all together,” Muetzel described.
This sense of unity and team is very important to the Falcons’ volleyball team and will be important in them growing and reaching their full potential as the weeks go on. But no matter what happens this season, Coach Ford knows her team will grow and she’ll enjoy every minute of it.
“This team is especially fun to teach and coach, and it’s great to see them get better and better every week. The younger players being added to the mix along with the veterans makes us a very strong team.”
The Falcons play at the Rippon College Invitational this weekend before beginning conference play at UW-Stout on September 23rd.