Entering their season, Colorado College volleyball set a team goal to become two percent better during each practice, with their eyes on winning the national championship this year.
The Tigers are one step closer to their ultimate goal, having earned their second consecutive regular season Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) championship. They defeated Southwestern University 24-26, 25-22, 27-25, 24-26, 15-8 in a close five-set match on Sunday Nov. 4 in Texas to clinch the title.
“At the beginning of the season, we all decided that we wanted to win a national championship,” middle hitter Myca Steffey-Bean ’19 said. “In order to get there, we set many little goals that could get us to that big goal. Now that we are headed to the first round this weekend, I think all of our hard work is showing its results.”
As a team, the Tigers’ hard work paid off with a litany of regular season SCAC honors. Head Coach Rick Swan won SCAC Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season. Middle hitter Marguerite Spaethling ’20 is the SCAC player of the year and a member of the SCAC all-conference first team. Setter Lizzy Counts ’20, outside hitter Haley Harris ’20 and Steffey-Bean were also awarded spots on the first team.
“While it is really great to be recognized for my individual accomplishments this season, I think that these awards speak more to my team’s accomplishments,” Steffey-Bean said. “Without them I would not have been able to play as well as I have this season. They motivate me every day to be the best player and teammate that I can be.”
The Tigers noted how they appreciate the individual awards but are still focused on achieving their team goals and making sure to give the same amount of support they receive from their teammates.
“It is a testament to how hard we work in practice and how hard everyone pushes each other,” said Harris. “I wouldn’t be on that list if it weren’t for the great people I play with as we all are such strong players we bring each other’s talents out. So, it’s a great honor but doesn’t change much in practice or games.”
Volleyball’s success has been a complete team effort this season. Each member has contributed as much as she can, and everyone motivates one another.
“My goals this season were to be the best teammate that I could be in every aspect of the game,” outside hitter Jordan Mullen ’20 said. “I was injured at the beginning of the season, so I had to fill a new role as a leader on the sidelines. We had many goals going into season, but we realized that our biggest goal was to play as hard as we could every moment because we never knew what the next play or the next day would bring.”
While the Tigers have achieved their personal and team goals during the regular season, they still have more in them as the playoffs begin. They are prepared to play at a higher level in their upcoming matches.
“I feel like this season we have not shown teams how well we can play when we are truly competitive,” Harris said. “I am excited to head out this weekend with the mindset that we are going to be competitive, we are going to play our hearts out, and win. I cannot wait to see how well we can play when every single person on the court and bench wants to win with their whole body.”
The Tigers concluded the regular season with a 31-2 overall record and went an undefeated 15-0 at home. They are steaming into the program’s 21st consecutive playoff appearance ranked 4th overall and on an 11-game winning streak. The Tigers will take on Washington and Lee University in the first round of regionals in Mount Berry, Ga., on Friday, Nov. 9.