Sports Editor: Donny Chiarel
WINGATE, N.C. — Wingate lost its first two South Atlantic Conference matches of the season to Tusculum and Lenoir-Rhyne in September. During the month of October, the Bulldogs seem to have found their stride.
Wingate stands alone in first place in the SAC through nine games while coming off of sweeps against Lincoln Memorial and Carson-Newman last weekend. Those two wins add on to Wingate’s seven match win streak, which is their longest of the year.
After their win against the Eagles on Saturday, senior setter Shannon Kasprak and sophomore libero Taryn Pryce talked about how satisfied they were after two weekend victories.
“I think we bring a really good competitive energy,” Kasprak said. “We always talk about how that can bring high I.Q. volleyball, and then we can have fun with that. We bring that energy every day in practice so it can translate to the games.”
Kasprak, the reigning SAC Offensive Player of the Year, currently sits second in the conference in assists per set with 9.50.
In her second season with Wingate, Pryce has emerged as the starting libero, filling the shoes of Courtney Niesen. She currently leads the team in digs with 208.
Pryce talked about what she has learned from her team in the last two contests.
“We’re really resilient,” Pryce said. “Sometimes, we’ll drop a few points, but no one gets down. We’re really competitive right now, and we just want to win. None of us expect to lose.”
After the first two sets, Wingate engineered a 6-0 run to end the match, cruising to a 25-8 win in the third to close the door on the Eagles.
“We just kept fighting, even though we were already up by two sets,” Pryce said. “We know other teams are still going to want to win, but we kept fighting in the final set.”
The Bulldogs travel to UVA Wise on Friday, Oct. 15, followed by a trip to Tusculum on Saturday, Oct. 16.