By Hannah Cohen
Drake women’s volleyball won the Sam Houston Tournament (SHT) with a sweep and are just one set away from a sweep with another win in the Holy Cross Invitational (HCI), making their record 18-19 with six wins as of Friday Aug.August 31. Being so close to a two-tournament sweep, the clamorous cheering on the bench kept the team going despite the set loss to Holy Cross.
“I had so much fun [on and off the bench] with the team,” McKenzie Smith, opposite hitter, said. “Plus, I got my first collegiate block.”
Riley Dolphin, middle blocker, reflected on season highlights thusthis far which included their MVPs’ performance in the SHT. Cathryn Cheek, outside hitter, leads the team with eight8 kills and three3 blocks and Elle Tubbs, middle blocker, with seven7 kills, nine9 blocks and one1 ace. Their team spirit and confidence in games adds to a sense of family.
“Our pre-game pump ups in the locker room, team bonding dinners [and victories make the team closer],” Dolphin said. “Everyone is constantly putting in work and everyone wants the same thing. Here at Drake, it doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or a senior, [everyone] is a teammate.”
The team also bonded over a trip to Costa Rica in June, before the season began, with a mix of immersing themselves in new culture, playing talented teams and working a youth clinic. This experience, according to Smith, truly brought the team closerextremely close for this season and again added to the family element of the team being one.
“The car rides and airport layovers are so much fun to me,” Smith said. “All we do is laugh and sing, literally.”
Although being on the road is enjoyable, the team is ready to begin their season homestand Friday, Sept. 7 versus Eastern Illinois (2-5) and South Dakota State (0-6) in the Knapp Center at 1:30 and 7 p.m. with another two matches on Saturday, Sept. 8 versus Massachusetts-Lowell (0-4) and Iowa (2-3) in the Knapp center at 12:30 and 6 p.m.
“We do need more fans,” Dolphin said. “That’s a big goal for our season and we plan on going far this year and we need all the help we can get. [In addition to our games on upcoming Friday and Saturday nights,] Sept.ember 21 is a big conference game and we would love to have a lot of fans.”
All Drake sports games are free of charge to students with your ID upon entry. Tickets can be purchased here for non-students and alum who would like to aid the team by attending the games.