By MIKEY WRIGHT
With the volleyball season in full swing, the Colorado College women’s volleyball team has wasted no time starting off the season in the win column. Beginning the season as No. 3 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Coaches Poll, the Tigers made quick work of their first eight games, posting a flawless 8–0 record.
All-American setter Lizzy Counts ’20 credits the team’s early success to their hard work ethic: “I think that we’ve gotten off to such a hot start because we come into the gym every single day ready to work hard,” Counts said. “It started in pre-season, and it continues with every victory—we never get complacent.”
The first real test for the Tigers came this past weekend at the Spike It Up Classic, where the team earned four tough wins. Their first game was against George Fox University, but the Tigers soundly defeated their visitors three sets to none.
Pacific University was next up for the Tigers. They came out swinging, putting up a tough fight. After losing the first set, middle hitter Marguerite Spaethling ‘20 and opposite hitter Aria Dudley ‘19 rallied the team to win the next three sets and take the match. The pair combined for 27 kills, with Spaethling recording a match-high of 16.
According to Counts, the team never seemed worried because of how tightly knit they are this year. “Our team clicks so well because we have great chemistry off the court as well as on it,” Counts said. “All of our seniors live together in a house, and all of the juniors live together in an apartment. That doesn’t happen on an average team. Not only do we go out there and play great teams and really compete, but we have a great time while we’re doing it because we get to play with our best friends.”
The Tigers biggest test of the season came on Saturday against No. 12 Pacific Lutheran University. Unphased by their brief first-set hiccup the day prior, the Tigers came out firing against the Lutes. Taking care of business in just three quick sets, the team rallied behind outside hitter Haley Harris ‘20 and Spaethling, once again. Recording 10 kills and eight kills respectively, the Tigers effortlessly cruised through PLU.
With both teams entering the match at 7–0, the Tigers knew they had to come out aggressively. As the team that knocked the Lutes out of the NCAA tournament last year, the Tigers knew they had a target on their back. The triumphant victory could mean a new ranking for the Tigers in the polls. Already No. 2 in the country and No. 1 in the West region, the Tigers are no doubt eying the top spot.
This weekend, the Tigers host the Pikes Peak Challenge, facing off against Johnson & Wales University on Sept. 14 and Covenant College on Sept. 14 and 15. All matches will take place in Reid Arena.