Beaver Volleyball on a Roll


Andrew Bandstra, Staff Writer

The Beaver volley team has been a bit streaky this year, often going on a couple game skid, then following it with a string of wins. An advantage to being a streaky team is that when they win, they can’t stop winning, which can serve them well come conference tournament time in a couple of weeks. This, along with Buena Vista taking down Dubuque on Saturday, who came into the game 3-1 in conference and 19-1 on the season, goes to show that the Beavers have a good chance at a deep tournament run despite their 13-9 record. The Beavers are on a winning streak and have come out victorious in the past four matches they have played, three of those being IAAC opponents, improving Buena Vista’s conference record to 4-3.

Junior Kylie Roe said the winning streak has a lot to do with great communication on the team.

“Honestly, communication will keep this rolling,” she said. “When we talk to each other everyone knows their role and what they should be doing to anticipate the next play. We just have to come ready to play.”

Buena Vista started last week with their first game of a 4-match home stand. They hosted a Bethany Lutheran College squad that BVU has dominated in the past. The Beavers came into the match not having lost a single set to Bethany Lutheran dating back to 2012, and the Beavers’ dominance of BLC continued, winning the match in straight sets. As far as individual play went, Head Coach Lori Slight made a few position changes that have seemed to work well for the team. The match kills were well spread out, with 11 coming from Serena Sandvig, 10 from Ali Grein, and 9 from Jade Schaap, a clear indication of the depth at the outside hitter position.

The win over BLC gave the Beavers the confidence to dominate the second opponent of the week, the Loras College Duhawk squad, who came into the match last Friday in the top half of the IAAC. The Beavers won in straight sets. The first two sets were back-and-forth, and in both, the Beavers were able to come out with the edge.  In the third set, it was all BVU with a score of 25-15.

The Friday night victory presumably gave the Beavers the confidence to grind it out against the Spartans of Dubuque on Saturday in a match they won in 5 sets over the then ranked Spartans. After falling down 2 sets to 1, the Beavers won the fourth set 25-19 to take it to a fifth set. A back-and-forth fifth set that finished 15-13 ended with a Beaver victory. Ali Grein led the way with 19 kills, and the Beavers had their third straight victory.

The play last week not only put the team at 6-0 at home, and move them up in conference standings, but it also resulted in a sweep of the weekly IIAC honors. Junior Serena Sandvig had was named the IIAC Volleyball Offensive Performer of the Week, and senior Jade Schaap was named the Defensive Performer of the Week.

Sandvig said the tough loss the week prior motivated the team to sit down and make a plan to turn the season around.

“We started pushing each other harder in practice, keeping each other accountable, and staying positive in the moment,” Sandvig said.

The plan is working because on Monday night the Beavers had their fourth straight home game and third straight conference game when they welcomed Central to Storm Lake. The Beavers swept the Dutch 3-0 and none of the sets were even close. Winning 25-16, 25-14, 25-12, the Beavers won their third straight conference match to improve their conference record to 4-3 and putting them fourth in the conference standings.

The Beavers will take part in the Bethany Lutheran triangular on Saturday, October 14, where it will play Northland at 3:00 p.m. and the host Vikings at 5:00 p.m.  The team will then finish conference play next Tuesday night at Coe College.