Wingate Volleyball Loses region opener in 5
Zeriq Lolar, Staff Writer
The Wingate University Bulldogs went down to USC-Aiken to play their Southeast Regional game in the NCAA tournament after they were fresh off winning their 10th South Atlantic Conference tournament in 11 seasons.
They faced a close foe in the conference, the royals of Queens University. The Bulldogs had already faced the Royals three times prior this meeting, with the Bulldogs winning all three.
The Bulldogs started off hot, winning the first set 25-22. In the second set the bulldogs were cold being down 12-5 at one point, but Abby Saehler, Katie Bludau, and Oakley Attaway led them back to win the second set 25-21.
One more set win would help to finish the game, the tides turn drastically for the bulldogs. The set went to tie at 19-19 but Queens would put it away with a couple kills to win the third set 25-19.
The next set would be the same thing with a Queens taking it 25-16.
Onto the fifth set Queens was dominant on the kills and would finish the game 15-8, and win it in five sets.
The Bulldogs fought hard but the Royals just somehow found a way to come back and win.
Senior Middle Blocker Abby Saehler (Iowa City, Iowa) said, “It was not the way we had planned this. I think we got confident in being up 2-0 and then just played relaxed and couldn’t respond. We were pretty confident in our game plan for them but then we didn’t take care of the ball on our side of the net.”
Junior Outside Hitter Katie Bludau (Seabrook, Texas) had similar thoughts towards the game, “We kept with our same game and just changed up the shots. we wanted to hit where their defense was not. And we wanted to serve and pass really well. When you play a team 4 times in a season it’s hard to change your game significantly by that fourth game,” said Bludau.
With a good lasting impact Junior Kori Adams (Ayden, N.C.) had some good insight, Adams said, “Overall this season was a challenge. We had a lot of adversity this year, but we still were able to win two championships. That just goes to show how special of a team we are. Every year we set 3 main goals and we accomplished 2 out of the 3 this year. Of course we all were striving for that third goal of winning regionals and going to the elite 8, but we fell short. We will use it as motivation this spring to come back stronger next year.”
Despite the loss the Bulldogs had a great season of 29 wins and 6 losses.
Edited by: Sara Gunter