In the realm of sports, triumphs are the sweetest when hard work, determination, unity, and skill converge into the formula of a winning season. Such is the story of this remarkable volleyball team that has not only dominated the past season of conference and regional championships but has now earned a coveted spot in the national tournament through an at-large bid invitation. Let’s delve into the exhilarating journey of this exceptional team over the 2023 season.
Riding the Wave of Success
The season began with an extraordinary opportunity for this volleyball team. Coach Jojo Wilkes coming in as a first-year head coach with a very talented recruiting class that, combined with seasoned upperclassmen, would create something special. From the first game, it was evident that this group of talented athletes had the makings of a remarkable team. It seemed as if every competitive encounter was another step forward in the right direction, and they finished their regular season with a winning record of 14-7.
The team’s journey to the conference championship game was marked by a series of victories, showcasing not only their teamwork and skill but also their ability to maintain composure under pressure. The players demonstrated seamless collaboration, moving, and communicating as one unit with a victory against Barclay College.
In the conference semifinal game, the team faced their toughest competition yet. Faith Baptist Bible College, who had beaten them twice within the season, and the match was a nail-biter, with both teams displaying incredible athleticism and strategic gameplay. Our volleyball girls emerged victorious in the fifth set, securing their place in the conference championship game. However, despite a valiant fight, The Lady Warriors ultimately succumbed to the #2 ranked in the nation Manhattan Christian College in the Championship game.
Encouraged by their success in getting to the conference championship, the team set their sights on the regional championships. In a thrilling showdown against Spurgeon College, the team triumphed again, clinching their place in the regional championship, and solidifying their reputation as a force to be reckoned with in the post season. They faced their opponent, #2 ranked in the nation Manhattan Christian College, again for the second time in a post season matchup. Calvary competed at the highest level in strategy and strength in the first two sets, but ultimately ran out of energy in the third set and placed second overall in the regional tournament.
At-Large Bid to the National Tournament
The Lady Warriors Volleyball team’s outstanding performance throughout the season did not go unnoticed, and their remarkable journey caught the attention of the NCCAA selection committee. The team received the news today that they received an at-large bid invitation to the NCCAA Division II Women’s Volleyball National Championship!! Senior Leah Grady said, “It’s always been a dream of mine to go to Nationals and I was disappointed when we were not able to go last year. This season I stepped out in faith not sure what this year would hold but confident that God had a plan and that He would use my love of volleyball for His glory. I am proud to go represent Calvary University and those that helped build this volleyball team into what it is today. I am excited to have the opportunity to compete against the best teams in the nation.”
Looking Ahead to the NCCAA National Tournament
As the team prepares for the upcoming national tournament next week, anticipation and excitement fill the air. The athletes, coaches, and the Calvary community alike are ready to witness this volleyball powerhouse go head-to-head with the best teams from across the nation. The journey to the national championship is undoubtedly challenging, but if the team’s track record is any indication, they are more than up to the task.
The story of this volleyball team’s journey from a winning record to the conference and regional championships, culminating in an at-large bid to the national tournament, is a testament to the power of teamwork, selflessness, skill, perseverance, and the enduring legacy of Calvary athletes allowing Christ to reign in their hearts. As they step onto the national stage, the entire community rallies behind them, confident that they will continue to be a blessing to those around them as they show Christ’s love both on and off the court.