Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Women’s volleyball hosts double games

Taylor Steger (’20) and Kaylah Townsell (’21) jump to block a spike from Central last Friday. Photo by Kevin Donovan

This past Friday, Augustana women’s volleyball kicked off the home portion of their season with a doubleheader against Central College and Dominican University. They defeated Central, but fell to Dominican.
“It was our first home game so we were very excited,” senior and captain Claire Martin said, “that took away some of the pressures of playing two games in a row.”
Coming into the match, the Central Dutch had a six-match win streak, and Augie fought to break that. Central took the first set of five, but the Vikings came back to take the next two and ultimately win in five.
“The last tournament of last year we did the same thing with Central. We beat them in five, so were used to it,” said Coach Kelly Bethke.
The Dutch stole four straight points in the first match to take a 12-9 lead. The Vikings wouldn’t get within three points of them for the rest of the time. Central won the set 25-20.
“What drove us was proving our potential because the weekend before we struggled with figuring out our team dynamic. So, a big goal of the weekend was to improve our consistency as well as figure out what our team wants to be defined as,” Senior and captain Emily Westermeyer said.
Augustana started off the second set and guaranteed themselves the lead at 18-12 with five straight points. Central eventually caught up making the game 21-19, but Augie took the last four points to win the set 25-19.
The Vikings came out swinging in the third set and quickly led 14-6. Central fired back with seven of the next eight points making it a close 15-13. The Dutch would not get any closer than that, and Augie ended up taking the set 25-19 again.
Central came into the fourth set looking to win. They did exactly that winning the set 25-19.
“Fifth sets can really go either way because you have fifteen points and at eight points you switch sides, so really whoever is up at eight tends to have the most momentum in the game,” Westermeyer said. “We were up at eight and we just kind of ran with it.”
Both teams looked determined going into the fifth set. It was a quick start by the Dutch, but Westermeyer would not give up and fired back with five kills, leading the Vikings to victory 15-12.
“We’re working some kinks out, and we’re figuring things out. I think in that fifth set we figured it out, and we played really well,” said Bethke. “I’m so happy with the effort. I think we turned it up a notch. These girls played so hard. They played to win.”
Coming off a win the Vikings were energized going into their next match. They hurriedly took a 23-12 lead and Dominican could not recover. Augie ended up winning the set 25-17.
“I feel like we were prepared physically but mentally we struggled,” Westermeyer stated. “We dealt with the heat all throughout preseason, but I think mentally we could’ve been more disciplined and played stronger.”
The Stars took a head-start in the beginning of the second match leading 7-1, but the Vikings fired back with five straight points. Dominican would soon catch up and win the set 25-22.
“We did not play to our full potential. I think we let the heat and the other uncontrollable factors affect our play,” Westermeyer said.
Dominican went on to win the next two sets, defeating the Vikings in the fourth. Augie fired back by taking six straight points in the fourth set but the Stars still won the set 25-16.
The next day the Vikings traveled to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville to defeat both Hamline and Platteville.

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Women’s volleyball hosts double games