A week ago, Winona State University senior Alexis Bass talked about the importance of starting the season off on the right foot, saying that it sets the tone for the season.
Well, the Winona State volleyball team is definitely walking in the right direction, as they traveled down to Springfield, Illinois for the Capital Classic Tournament and came away without a blemish on their record.
After going down to the wire in their first two victories against the University of Southern Indiana and the University of Illinois Springfield, the Warriors turned it up a notch on the second day, sweeping both the University of Charleston and their rematch with UIS.
The Warriors knocked off the rust early, shaking those first game jitters away on Friday, as the team seemed like they were in mid-season form by the second day.
“We kind of joked that first games felt like first date jitters,” Bass said. “Nerves are natural and they’re going to be there, but we have so many good heads and good girls on the team that we will overcome that.”
Bass also stated that nerves are not a problem once you get the adrenaline going and get into the flow of the game.
This is the type of start that every team would want, but what were some of the Warriors’ other goals heading into this year?
“Some of the goals we’ve named are the conference championship, winning the conference tournament, being able to hang a banner again and getting past more than just one round of the NCAA tournament,” Bass said. “We also have some off-the-court goals, like making sure we are drinking half our body weight in ounces of water, getting eight hours of sleep, taking pride in our grades by keeping at least a 3.3 GPA and be known as a team that people want to look up to.”
All of the above goals appear to be realistic and team-first goals by the Warriors.
With one more tournament before the start of the regular season, Bass talked about how they game plan for each team.
“We always watch film to scout the team, see what things they are running, what they do consistently, and try to find their weaknesses” Bass said. “We never have the same game plan for each game, it depends on who we are facing for the specific offense or defense we want to run.”
Whatever game plan the Warriors have rolling with so far has been working out of the gate.
Leading the way for the Warriors was junior Megan Flom, who recorded 42 kills over the entirety of the tournament.
She was followed by sophomore Kaleigh Beehler and junior Kate Masberg, who recorded 29 and 25 kills respectively.
Junior Bre Maloney shined in the assist category, setting her teammates up for the score 123 times over the weekend.
On the defensive end, junior Becca Pagel had a team-high 55 digs.
Sophomore Madison Rizner made her presence felt around the net, with 14 blocks really putting an exclamation point on the defensive effort.
Although it was a great start by this Winona State team, the team knows there is a lot of season left.
“It’s not about where you start, it’s about where you finish” Bass said. “We are already on the same page as a team. Last year we ended around .500 and that isn’t good enough for us.”
The Warriors will continue play this weekend at the University of Wisconsin Parkside Hampton Inn Invite over in Kenosha, Wisconsin.