This past weekend, the Maroon volleyball team competed in Aurora University’s Jim Coleman Memorial Tournament and went 3–1 overall, defeating University of Dubuque, Concordia University Chicago, and North Park University, but coming up short to Aurora University.
Although the squad lost an important match to Aurora, they are proud of their weekend performance overall and are excited for what is to come in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship this weekend.
In response to last weekend, second-year libero Anne Marie Stifter said, “We really learned a lot about ourselves this past weekend and how playing our style of volleyball really makes a difference. Obviously, we would have liked to win all of our games, but we learned from our loss to Aurora and will work this week in practice to prepare for UAA’s this weekend.”
The Maroons do not have much time to reflect, as they are looking ahead to this weekend and preparing for the UAA Championship tournament. On Friday, the squad will travel to Atlanta to compete in the tournament hosted by Emory University. They will first take on Rochester in the quarterfinals at 2 pm ET. The Maroons last played the University of Rochester Yellow Jackets in September at the first round of the UAA Round Robin, where they dominated them, reigning victorious in three consecutive sets. But even so, the squad is taking them lightly.
To prepare for the big weekend, the Maroons are focusing on themselves, both mentally and physically. Honing their individual skills and concentrating on control and focus is the priority.
“For this weekend at UAA’s, we are really focusing on how we play and not letting the other team dictate the pace of the game,” added Stifter. “We want to be in control during our matches. UAA’s are always super competitive and highly emotional, especially this year because we want to show how good we are and can be when we play our best. Our plan is to stay focused and in control.”
First-year setter Emma Griffith echoed her teammate’s sentiments, saying, “This week we are working a lot on our routines to try to lessen the extra nerves we might have this weekend”. “We went back to the basics and focused on improving everything that has been working well for these past few months, just a little bit more.”
After taking on Rochester in the Quarterfinals on Friday, if they win, they will continue to the semifinals and challenge the winner of Washington University and New York University.
With the fate of their season, and a bid to the national tournament on the line, the Chicago volleyball squad has an exciting and important weekend ahead of them.