By: Michael Willson
The Virginia Wesleyan Volleyball team competed in the final round of the ODAC Tournament Saturday, November 7. The Marlins fell to the Yellow Jackets of Randolph-Macon College 3-1.
Despite the team’s loss, head coach Andrea Hoover said she was proud of how the team competed in the final round.
“It was our first time in the finals. I think in the third set, our players battled. They pushed a really good team in Randolph-Macon into four sets,” Hoover said in an interview posted on the team’s website.
Senior Marin Crowder also said the season was a memorable one.
“The highlights of the tournament were the accomplishment of our team in that we made it to the finals for the first time in program history. We also beat the program record for wins in a season with twenty five,” Crowder said.
The ODAC is known its competitive volleyball program. Hoover said making it to the final round of the tournament is no simple task.
“It’s not an easy journey to do that. The ODAC is a very competitive conference in volleyball. We have some really good teams. It is something that we always strive for, but we understand how difficult it is,” Hoover said.
This was the team’s first appearance in the ODAC Tournament final. The team fought against the Wildcats of Randolph College in the quarterfinals and the Generals of Washington and Lee University in the semifinals, where the team broke the school record for number of wins. The Marlins defeated both teams during the regular season as well. Until their loss to the Marlins, Washington and Lee was an undefeated team.
“We wanted to beat Washington and Lee in three and I think we kind of grinded that out. We probably could have played a little better, but we got the win and that was important,” Hoover said in the interview posted on the team’s website.
Senior Marin Crowder attributed a large part of the team’s success to its chemistry. “We harp on that this is the last time that this team is ever going to be this team with the individuals on it, and we want to make the most of it,” Crowder said.
Hoover said the leadership of the seniors played a significant role in the team’s overall success. “This senior class has a vision for how they would like to end their career, and I think they show that in the gym every day. They are pushing their teammates to get better,” Hoover said.
At the conclusion of the tournament, a number of players were recognized. Junior Tiffany Barrett and senior Kristen Sessoms made All ODAC First Team. Crowder made All ODAC Second Team and the All ODAC Tournament Team along with sophmore .
“Both of these accomplishments make me really proud and I will always look back on and remember,” Crowder said.
The team’s plan for next season is to continue to work hard in order to reach their goals.
“Our goal each season is to be one of the most competitive teams in the ODAC and put ourselves in the best possible position to win the conference tournament,” Hoover said.