by MCKENNA LAFONTAINE
On Nov. 3–4, the University of Mary Washington’s women’s volleyball team came out victorious from both of their doubleheaders, guaranteeing them entrance to the Coast-to-Coast conference, which will determine if they will play in the NCAA championship. Their final win against Averett University brought their game statistics to 27 wins and three losses for the regular season, which is the best they have played since 1992, according to the UMW athletics website.
On Nov. 3 at 4:30 p.m., Mary Washington’s women’s volleyball team successfully opened their doubleheader with a win against the Christopher Newport University Captains.
The Lady Eagles successfully won the first three periods, causing the Captains to forfeit the fourth period. Each period started out with a close score that kept everyone on the edge of their seats.
Reflecting on the games, UMW Director of Athletics Patrick Catullo said, “I thought the team played really strong during their first game this afternoon, and as always it’s a good win against Christopher Newport.”
The Eagles rallied support from the crowd as they faced their rivals, which brought out both team’s competitiveness, as well as energetic support from the spectators. Though this rivalry does not have a clear starting point, both teams are at the top of their division, which contributed to their fierce playing.
Throughout the periods, both teams showed their strengths when they were neck-and-neck. The second period brought on the closest game, and the Eagles ended up on top with a score of 25–20.
Senior business administration major Emma Bernard attended the afternoon game on Friday.
About the game, she said, “this game was extremely thrilling and I’m sure to never miss a game versus Christopher Newport.”
Following the Christopher Newport game, the Lady Eagles faced the Centre College Colonels at 7:30 p.m., who came all the way from Kentucky. After the Centre College team watched the Eagles demolish the Captains, the Colonels met the same fate, as they were unable to put up enough of a fight to defeat the Eagles. The second period brought out the closest score, 26–24, with Mary Washington coming out on top.
Both games on Friday ended in 3–0 sweeps for the Lady Eagles, and as if that was not thrilling enough, they competed against two more teams on Saturday for another doubleheader. These teams were Susquehanna University (9–18) and Averett University (13–16).
Students who attended the game were entertained by the rivalry between the teams, and they celebrated the home team’s wins in real time.
“I attend the CNU game on Friday and the evening game on Saturday. The girls played extremely well in each game,” said Dannisha Mitchell, a sophomore biomedical sciences major. “My favorite was the CNU game, with the rivalry and all, there was a ton of energy in the gym.”
The games on Saturday both ended in sweeps by Mary Wash as they won 3–0. The evening game, which they played against Averett University, also featured a senior recognition for the graduating players.
The Eagles will play the Coast-to-Coast conference semifinal on Nov. 10 in Salisbury, Md., followed by the championship game on Nov. 11. If they win these games, they will advance to the first round of the NCAA tournament.
According to the Mary Washington athletics page, the women’s volleyball team has not won the Division III state championship since 1979. Last year, they won the Coast-to-Coast Championship but fell in the third round of the NCAA tournament versus Johns Hopkins University.
The Lady Eagles will continue to face off against their rivals in hopes of making it to the NCAA championship.