On Saturday, Sept. 23, the Wheaton College Volleyball team competed in the CCIW/WIAC Crossover Tournament. The CCIW/WIAC conference was founded in 1946 and has hosted tournaments for nine Division III colleges, including Wheaton College, since. With spirits high from a 3-0 win against Lake Forest on Sept. 19, Wheaton traveled to Naperville, Ill. to play UW La Crosse in hopes of evening their 2-3 record. However, even with sophomore Madeline Moore leading Wheaton with six kills, the Thunder fell short, losing to the Eagles 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-21). Moore was assisted with five kills from Audrey Irwin and four kills from Katie Rohrer.
““In our match against lacrosse it felt like there was as an all around lack of focus and discipline,” Moore said. “They were a very beatable team, but we simply did not become coherent in a way that was effective enough to play to our full potential and take the match.”
On Tuesday, Sept. 26, Wheaton volleyball played No. 12 ranked Millikin University. It was Wheaton’s first home game of the season and new coach, Stephanie Schmidt’s, first home game as head coach. “We have been looking forward to this match since we moved in on August 17,” Schmidt said. “It’s hard playing on the road and we’ve been our own cheerleaders so it’s nice having those voices behind us.” However, Wheaton lost to Big Blue 3-0.
“Millikin is a good team and we knew that going into the game,” Moore said. “They are 12th in the nation. I think our second set that ended 25 Millikin, 21 Wheaton showed us that we are capable of playing with the best.”
In the first matchup, Millikan won 25-13 with 20 kills in the set. Wheaton put up a fight in the second set, but Big Blue escaped with a victory 25-21. Millikan won the third set 25-16. For Millikan, Erin Syversen led the Big Blue with 15 kills along with Rose Syversen who had 21 assists. For Wheaton, Audrey Irwin led the Thunder with seven kills and Kelly Thornton aided Wheaton with 10 assists.
“Everyone on our team has so much talent, we just need to continue to improve in consistent chemistry,” Moore said. “Additionally, we need to continue to be more consistent in playing to our standard.”
Although Wheaton lost, Schmidt was in high hopes for the coming season. “We certainly appreciate it and we’re excited to come out later this week and host another one and have a little better result.”
““Playing at home was so much fun,” Moore said. “It’s always so special to have a big group of fans you know.”
Wheaton returns to action on Thursday, Sept. 28 at University of Chicago at 6:00 p.m. The University of Chicago volleyball team is ranked 25th in the country; Wheaton is unranked.