The William Jewell College (WJC) volleyball team finished its season with close matches on Nov. 7 against Drury University and Nov. 8 against the Missouri University of Science and Technology (S&T).
The Cardinals trailed Drury 2-1 after three sets, but went on a 7-1 run to close out the fourth game 25-19. The Panthers won the fifth set 15-12. Kaylee Marquardt, junior, and Libby Ording, senior, led the Cardinals with 11 kills each, while Amy Lindhorst, sophomore, tallied a game-high 37 assists.
The game against S&T was Senior Day for the Cardinals, and the last home game for seniors, Christina Pratt, Lesley Iron, and Ording. The Cardinals fell in the first two sets but were able to win the third set 25-19. The Miners answered with a win in the fourth set 25-16 to win the match 3-1. Kelsey Wagner, junior, recorded 13 kills, while Ording added 11 kills. Codi Winslow, first-year, and Iron led the team in digs with 16 and 15, respectively.
“This year we did improve a lot of things even if our record did not reflect it. We became stronger as a team, and individually, I think we all gained a lot,” Lindhorst said.
“I feel like on Friday [against Drury] everything really came together. We played really well, probably the best we’ve played all season. I think that’s reflective of where we are going from now. If we can continue to grow from where we were at these last few games, then we’re headed in the right direction,” Libbey McMurray, sophomore, said.
After the losses, the Cardinals fell to 3-25 (1-17). While the season did not produce many wins, the team maintains that Carolyn Raynes, first-year head coach, was able to establish a foundation that will look to bring success in the upcoming years.
“Coach Raynes is working on establishing herself. Even though the season wasn’t reflective of it, we did make a lot of gains and we did grow,” McMurray said. “Fundamentally, she is working on getting everyone on the same page, and I think eventually it will come together.”
In order to fill the vacancies of the three graduating seniors, the Cardinals are currently planning to bring in five new members in this year’s recruiting class. These new and returning members will create high competition for the starting spots next season.
“It’s always a good thing in volleyball to have intersquad competition because it makes you all better,” McMurray said.
The returning members of the team will start team workouts at the beginning of next semester that will lead them into their spring season.
“The first day back of classes we start our conditioning and weights. We’ll start tournaments and regular practices around spring break time,” Lindhorst said.
The final season statistics are available online.