Katie Britton, a sophomore volleyball player at Valparaiso, is the Volleyball correspondent for the HLN Blog.
The holidays are rapidly approaching and the weather is cooling down, but here in Valparaiso our volleyball team is finding our groove and starting to heat up.
We've had a great schedule these past couple of weeks, being lucky enough to have several home games in a row. Our home stretch started off with two extremely tough matches, the first of which being against Wright State. Down two sets to one, and stuck in a significant hole in the fourth set, we rallied...and a huge comeback was looming. We fought it out during the fourth and fifth sets to complete the comeback and claim a victory.
The next night at home, in a drastic turn of events, we were unable to find our rhythm against Cleveland State and made a few too many unforced errors which led to our demise against the Vikings. We didn't let this loss affect our spirits, and worked that much harder the following week in order to prepare ourselves for the difficult matches ahead.
Butler is known to be one of Valpo's biggest rivals, regardless of the sport. Before last Friday, Butler's volleyball team was undefeated in Horizon League play, holding the number one spot in the rankings. After the tough loss against Cleveland state, we were eager to get back on our home court and show our fans the true, hard working Valparaiso volleyball team. There was a lot of hype surrounding this match, as a Valpo victory would vault us into a tie with Butler for first place in the Horizon League standings.
Such a huge match called for a "Blackout," where all of our fans would show up sporting black shirts, uniting them in their cheering crusade. We had a tremendous turnout, which helped to fuel our excitement and will to win. Our communication and momentum carried us through the match, and we quickly took all three sets in a sweeping victory over the Bulldogs! We were beyond stoked that we had begun to really figure things out as a team and were able to chalk up such an important Horizon League win.
We're now nearing the end of our homestand, and head to Chicago for the weekend after taking on Green Bay and Milwaukee at the ARC.