Photo by Hannah Cohen
BY HANNAH COHEN
After dominating each match this season, Drake women’s volleyball falls in an intense match against the University of Iowa in their final game in the 2018 Hotel Renovo-Wildwood Lodge Invitational, 0-3. Even though this broke their 9-0 season record, spirits among the team remain high.
“I am very proud of how the team did,” Gillian Gergen, right side blocker, said. “I think this match showed how much growth we’ve made since pre-season. We can only go up from here.”
Gergen had a successful match with a total of nine kills and one block, second overall behind Cathryn Cheek. Middle blocker Natalie Fry came in fourth with eight kills and three blocks. The team started off behind Iowa, who got the first point each set. Drake won the coin toss but dragged 3-0. After the first three points, it was a constant back and forth between the teams past 25 points and all the way up to 34-32 for the Hawkeye’s set win.
“The tensest moment was the first set when it was 30-all,” Fry said. “You could just tell the intensity on the court was just crazy.”
Drake had another close run with Iowa in the second set, but again failed to succeed. After a hard-fought second set, Iowa takes it 25-23.
“I’m pretty proud of our team tonight,” Darrin McBroom, head coach, said. “As we’re playing a big 10 team we played exceptionally well in the first set, we had two set points but we just couldn’t close the door in the first set. The second set we were down, but [the team] never gave up they fought back and tied it up in the end, putting them in a position to win there. We’re trying to get an upset we’re trying to stay close in the match and have a shot in it. We did that the first two sets.”
McBroom noted that they ran out of gas in the third set and Iowa capitalized on that. However, Gergen said the team didn’t panic on the court.
“I wasn’t nervous” Gergen said. “I felt like our team on the court as a whole was calm although it was intense.”
The team heads to Mizzou for the Mizzou Invitational this Thursday. Their next match is against Mizzou Saturday Sept. 15 at 2:30 p.m. McBroom said this will be the hardest tournament of their pre-conference phase as a team but this doesn’t set the girls back.
“Our team chemistry is amazing,” Gergen said. “I love working with all of the girls on the court and all of the girls work so well together and I think that showed tonight.”
McBroom also wanted to thank the 640+ member crowd that attended the match. He said it was great having the enthusiastic and encouraging environment to cheer the team along. The team agrees and is ready to move forward.
“Next game we have to keep our heads up,” Fry said. “[We won’t let this one] loss affect us. We have to keep fighting and playing our game.”