The faces of the Wittenberg women’s volleyball team have changed over the years, but the tradition has remained the same, at least under Coach Paco Labrador. Coach Labrador has been racking up wins for sometime now, and has been doing it with an assortment of players. Since 2001, coach Labrador’s winning percentage is .856; .860 if you like to round up. In this time, coach Labrador has accumulated many awards, one being a National Championship Trophy.
Referring to Labrador, sophomore outside hitter Brooke Barney said, “He always makes sure we are well prepared for every match. Being prepared helps us feel confident going into games.”
Barney and her teammates have been preparing well for six weeks now. The lady Tigers have caught fire and are on an a six game-winning streak going into their Tri-Match this weekend in Transylvania, Ky. In those games, the Tigers took care of business in each of the six games, and shut out the last five teams in their streak. The last team that stood in the Tigers way was the lady Battling Bishops of Ohio Wesleyan University.
Like a machine, the ladies dominated in all three sets of the game. Their preparation paid off and the results showed on the court. The Tigers won the first set 25-10. In that game the ladies jumped out to a 12-3 lead. OWU took a time out after sophomore Kara Seidenstricker went numb and had four straight points off of her serve, two of those being aces. In the second set, the Tigers continued to roll as they won 25-9. In that set, freshman Libbi Giuliano picked up where Seidenstricker left off by serving for seven straight points to take an early 9-2 lead. Seidenstricker ended the set with two serves, one being an ace. In the final set, the Battling Bishops late game surge was not enough to spoil the Tigers. At the 20-7 mark, the Bishops rattled off four straight points to make the score 20-11. After going back and forth in scoring, the lady Tigers prevailed and took the game, and final set 25-14.
“This team is made up of some of the hardest working, most determined young women I have ever met,” said senior Andrea Behling. “I’m so lucky to be surrounded by these girls who push me to be my best every single day. The sacrifice that I see from my teammates on a daily basis is what makes our team so special,” continued Behling. “We have a goal, and we won’t stop working until we get there.”
This game marks as the Lady Tigers eighth victory on the season, and third NCAC conference victory. Though the team is comprised of many underclassmen, the mindset and focus they have for the season is similar to a team comprised of upperclassman. That being said, they have one goal and one goal only.
“Our ultimate goal is to win a national championship, and we are working hard one game at a time to reach this goal,” said Seidenstricker.