By Reagan Leverett
The volleyball match on the evening of September 14 between Sewanee and Berry kept everyone in Juhan Gymnasium on the edges of their seats, even though Sewanee didn’t leave with a victory at the end of the night.
The game kicked off with a great serve from Lily Reilly (C’22), setting a fast pace for the game. The Tigers worked well together as a unit during the first set. They capitalized on strong back row attacks and quick ball movement on the net to break down Berry’s defense.
The Tigers kept up with their opponents until about halfway through the set, when Sewanee started making technical errors and missed serves and shanks, which slowed the pace of the game and allowed for Berry to take the lead, winning them the first set.
The last two sets were won mostly off of Sewanee’s errors, not a deficit of talent between them and their opponent. The Tigers were aggressive on the net and did a fair job at moving serves around on Berry’s side of the court, but their defense, both front and back row, broke down and allowed for Berry to emerge as the victor of the game.
Sewanee’s front row had a tough time closing blocks and shutting Berry’s defense down, which arguably made their back row break down as well, as they couldn’t absorb all of the attacks their opponents launched over the net.
Destiny Stewart (C’21) said after the game, “I’d say that I think we did really well in relation to how we have done in the past. Berry is ranked number 24 and we definitely held our own. We didn’t give up and we are ready to work even harder in practice and play against them again!”
“Berry is a very good team, probably the most physical team we’ve played all year. We have not played against a block of that size, and had some trouble adjusting. But for the most part, I think we played well, especially with our serve and pass game,” commented Coach Nancy Culver. “This game challenged every aspect of our game and we were able to see areas of our game where we need to improve. We look forward to a rematch in a couple of weeks.”
Though the Tigers were defeated, not for one moment was the energy on the court impaired. The team did an outstanding job of sticking together, supporting one another, and working as a unit.