Colorado College Volleyball got off to a flying start this weekend with an undefeated performance in this year’s CC Classic. The Classic was hosted at Reid Arena, and the Tigers faced off against North Central College, Nebraska Wesleyan University, University of St. Thomas, and East Texas Baptist University. CC didn’t lose a single set in the first three games and only allowed the opposing team to score above 20 points in one set during the weekend.
The fourth game of the tournament proved to be the toughest for the Tigers. St. Thomas came into the match with a national ranking of 26, and junior Jilly Gibbs said that leading up to such a big game, the focus had to be on their own performance. “Coach was saying to focus on our side of the net and stay together as a team,” Gibbs said. “We couldn’t go out and play scared, we just had to play all-out from the go.”
But the Tigers were under pressure from the start as the St. Thomas Tommies won the first set of the match 18-25. Facing their first test of the season, the Tigers kept their calm and made a few changes at the break. “They were very scrappy, so offensively we had to pick up our game and just swing away,” Gibbs said. The women went on to sweep St. Thomas in the next three sets to finish out the tournament with four wins out of four.
“Our bench did a good job of being loud, and everyone had a role to play.” Gibbs said. Though every member of the team played well when called upon, there were some players who were especially crucial to the team’s winning efforts. Junior Haley Harris had a fantastic tournament; her 15 kills and 15 digs in the contest against St. Thomas stood out most. Junior Anna Gurolnick praised many of her teammate’s performances in the CC Classic. “Haley was a very consistent and effective force for us as an outside hitter both in the front row and the back row,” Gurolnick said. “She contributed a lot to both offense and defense.”
Junior middle hitter Marguerite Spaethling stood out in the tournament as well, putting up nine kills and four blocks against the Tommies en route to being named tournament MVP. Junior setter Lizzy Counts and senior middle hitter Myca Steffey-Bean were impressive throughout, and first-year Isabella Vasquez made a name for herself with 14 kills and a team high 19 digs against St. Thomas.
Harris, Counts, and Spaethling were voted onto the all-tournament team by opposing coaches, further highlighting their impacts.
Morale from the extremely successful weekend is high, but the Tigers remain humble. “It feels good, but we know there’s a long way to go,” Gurolnick said. “Our team motto this year is pursuing greatness, and we know that we are good after going 4-0, but we are shooting to be great.” The team is eager to continue a tradition of winning all the way through a long and grueling season.
“What matters is our next games coming up and what we can do to be better,” Gibbs said. “Nobody on our team likes the feeling of losing.” It’s apparent from this past weekend that CC volleyball has high expectations for this year, and they look poised to achieve greatness this season, securing the No. 2 rank in the nation.
The Tigers play this coming weekend at home in the Spike It Up Classic. Tip off against George Fox University is Sept. 7 at 2 p.m. in Reid Arena.