Women’s volleyball Reaches 7th Straight NCAA Tournament Appearance

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Nicole Kappelman, Contributor

Above photo by Steve Woltmann: Senior Jen Krumwiede led the Flyers to the GLVC Championship game and the NCAA Midwest Regional for the seventh straight year.

As of Nov. 28, the women’s volleyball team is gearing up to play in the NCAA Division II Championship tournament. This will be the Flyer’s, seventh-straight appearance in the tournament.

The team finished up their 2012 fall season with a final record of 26-10 overall, earning them the No. 4 seed in the championship tournament.

Lewis first fell to Rockhurst University on Nov. 18 in the GLVC Championship match 3-1. Although the loss ended their shot at first place, head coach Lorelee Smith couldn’t be any prouder of her team, as after the game that day, they were given the news they would be appearing in the tournament.

“I’m really attached to this team on an emotional level,” said Smith. “They care so much for one another and the program that it’ll be tough no matter when the season ends. Over and over, I have seen them prevail, teach one another and build a family that is very tight.”

From the beginning of the season, and even prior to school starting, the girls were working hard and preparing themselves.

Freshman Morgan Cebula knew coming into the season there would be a lot for her to work on.

“Coach gave us a workout folder at the beginning of summer to prepare us for preseason,” said Cebula. “The last thing that I wanted was to be that out of shape freshman. I worked my butt off all summer, and I think that it really paid of for me starting the season.”

For sophomore Leigh Barea, she made a change from her freshman season to her second year as a Flyer, improving her game for she and her teammates this fall.

“It is hard to believe that my sophomore season is already coming to an end,” said Barea. “It’s hard to believe the regular season is over too. Ending [the regular season] with a share of the regular conference championship showed how much of our hard work paid off.”

Going into their first round match against Ferris State, Coach Smith says there is not much to do except to win. This will be the second time they are playing Ferris State, after they won against them Oct. 12 in a 5-match game.

“Last time we won because we never gave up,” said Smith. “We fought to keep the ball alive no matter what, and that was the factor that had us winning in five. This time, there are a few things we can clean up, but it’ll be a very tough match again.”

Coach Smith believes that her team has always expected to make the tournament, no matter the cost.

“I think this program has built an expectation,” said Smith. “There really isn’t one word to describe our team. Their success has been a product of pure heart, flexibility and the desire to win no matter your role. It is an amazing group of players.”

On Nov. 29, the Flyers lost to Ferris State 4-2. Lewis ends their 2012 season with a record of 26-11.

Nicole Kappelman
Nicole Kappleman is the sports editor for the Flyer.

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