It only took the volleyball team three sets to send Rhodes College and Centenary College packing Sept 6-7. The women took care of business and took care of it early.
They beat a talented Rhodes College team with the help of sophomore outside hitter Lauren Powell. She finished the game with 13 kills.
The following game looked similar to the first, with Powell leading the attack and sophomore setter Shelby Prather repeating her 29 assist game.
This was the second weekend in a row that the women dominated tournament play. The Cru went 3-1 against tough competition in the UMHB Classic.
Kicking off the tournament Aug, 30-31 with a win against Huston-Tillotson, the energy carried over, going into a full count match, for a 3-2 victory over the number two-ranked Southwestern University in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Dominating on Saturday in a quick 3-0 matchup with number-three-ranked Trinity University in the SCAC, the Crusaders added a tally to their win column.
“They’re D3. They’re ranked and we are not. So by beating them, it really puts us in a good position and just knowing we played really steady,” sophomore education major Shelby Prather said.
Not only did head volleyball coach, Rob Frost, take part in keeping the momentum of the tournament positive, but head basketball coach Ken Deweese stepped in to share a few encouraging words.
“That was a really good speech. It definitely made us play a lot harder. Coach Deweese just told us to play against our best self and keep competing,” freshman physical therapy major Sarah Toler said.
The women split their games, losing to Wayland Baptist University 25-21, 25-8, 25-11. Toler commented on the accomplishments for the overall Mary Hardin-Baylor Classic.
“I’m feeling good we beat the teams we needed to beat, especially the D3 schools. We took care of those games.”
Frost continues to show leadership as he enters into his third season as a Crusader, staying confident in his team.
“I’m very happy with how we played this weekend. There were a number of teams that only had one win, and we pulled out three,” he said .“We played very steady and played like upperclassmen—played a lot older than we are. Point for point, it was a great weekend for us.”
Junior mathematics major Bianca Patterson led the team with 12 kills followed by sophomore visual communications major Lauren Powell with 10. Overall, it was a successful weekend, and the team continues that sucess in Tyler.
The optimism stays high for the rest of the upcoming season, and Prather stays positive about potential the team has.
She said the first tournament “went great for us, especially being so young. We don’t have any seniors. I’m really encouraged. I think our freshmen are going to do really good and our returners.”