The UVSC women’s volleyball team finished its season with a bang as they won the Division I Independent championship.
After finishing second last year, coach Sam Atoa said last year’s finish left a bitter taste in the mouth of the returning players.
"This time last year, we tasted defeat. That was very hard for us," Atoa said. "Those that were here remember that and worked really hard to get back what we thought was ours."
Taking Atoa’s lead, the team’s aggressiveness on every point kept any team from getting within six points the entire weekend.
The final, on Nov. 17 against Cal State-Bakersfield, the Wolverines won easily (30-21, 30-22, 30-21).
"They wanted this for so long and it’s been such an incredible year to have the most wins ever (21) and to have it [the title] on our home court," Atoa said.
Unlike the first two matches of the tournament in which strong hitting led to wins, Cal State-Bakersfield hurt themselves with 31 errors compared to the Wolverines’s eight miscues.
While UVSC’s team hitting was .307, Jessica Endres was once again the leader on the court by hitting .500 and totaling 10 kills.
Camie Manwill was busy in defense with 14 digs, but she still was able to get eight kills in the match.
UVSC swept Texas-Pan American (30-17, 30-24, 30-22) and Providence (30-18, 30-21, 30-16) on Nov. 16 to set up its third straight appearance in the Independent tournament championship match.
Weber State transfer Kristi Lindley is the main part in giving her teammates good swings at the ball, leading the way with 79 assists over two matches.
"We’ve done a good job meshing as a team and that’s made a big difference," Lindley said.
Endres led the way by hitting over .500 in both of those matches, including .611 against Providence. She also added 12 kills against Providence, with Kristin Anderson hitting .438 and nailing 10 kills.
"For sure it helps to be home, but also we lost in the finals last year," Endres said. "We have some motivation from that."
With the win, the Wolverines finished with a 21-10 record — setting a team-record for most victories at the DI level.
"I think it’s great [to reach the mark]," Atoa said. "Especially when we are getting better and improving. Whether it’s 20 or 19 [wins], we have a few more wins than we did last year and we are doing some good things."