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Sports Update: BVU Volleyball

Gibson Berns, Sports Editor

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After finishing the regular season on a ten match winning streak and playing at the best of their ability at the right time, the Buena Vista Volleyball team entered the IIAC Tournament as the 3 seed on Halloween. They swept Nebraska Wesleyan in three sets and moved on to the semifinals and a chance to take on a Luther squad that had defeated the Beavers previously in the season.

This was a different Beaver squad than the one Luther faced back in September, as the Beavers were playing their best ball of the season. BVU won the first set 25-23 and close sets would become a repetitive theme. The Beavers took the second set 25-23 as well, and again the Beavers would win a close set in the third with a score of 26-24.

Neither team would lead by more than three points in the entire match, a true testament of how competitive this semifinal match was. Jade Schaap was the only Beaver in double digit kills with 23 and Jamie Navinksey added 9 kills and Ali Grein added 7.

A victory by the Beavers would set up a Championship match with the Knights of Wartburg. Wartburg swept BVU earlier in the year with the Beavers not even reaching 20 points in any of the sets. This match would be one of the tightest games of the season for either side.

While BVU lost 25-19 in the first set, their hopes were not diminished. In the second set the Beavers actually took a 13-8 lead with the hopes of tying the match at 1-1. But, Wartburg came back to defeat the Beavers in the second set 25-23. The Beavers either had to win the next three sets in a row or they would finish second to the Knights.

In the third set again the Beavers took a lead about halfway through the set, going up 17-12. The Wartburg Volleyball team would force another comeback and take the third and final set, 25-23 making them IIAC Champions.

After losing the first set by 6 the Beavers could have gone down without a fight and thrown in the towel. They had opportunities to perhaps take a set or two from the Knights, but it just wasn’t in the cards. Schaap again led the team in kills with 11, while Navinskey and Serena Sandvid added 7 each. Summer Goss led the team in digs with 18 and Navinskey added 12.

Jade Schaap, one of four seniors on the team, describes her feelings after losing the tough championship game.

“I think in that moment, losing isn’t fun but the journey itself was amazing and in the end that’s really all that matters, to be able to look back at the memories,” said Schaap.

Seniors Schaap, Navinskey, Grein, and Lindsay Meyer will be tough to replace, as they not only excelled on the volleyball court, but were key to team chemistry.

Grein said, “I have never felt like more of a family than I have at BVU. Being a transfer is hard, but it’s so easy when you have such amazing team and school to support you.”

Schaap added, “Our team chemistry on and off the court is something that no other team could compete with and it gave us an advantage. I’ve never played with a group of girls connect so well throughout my many years of playing volleyball, and for that I am simply thankful.”

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Sports Update: BVU Volleyball