Momentum doesn’t hold as Chicago goes 1–2 at IWU Classic

While the volleyball team started out strong this weekend demolishing Hiram, they lost two hotly-contested against No. 14 Carthage and De Pauw.

By Katrina Williams

The No. 20 volleyball squad took the trip to Illinois Wesleyan for the second time this season, although they wouldn’t be facing the host team this time. The Maroons were playing in the IWU Classic, taking on Hiram, No. 14 Carthage, and DePauw over two days. Chicago beat Hiram 3–0, but unfortunately couldn’t quite get it together on Saturday, losing both games 3–2.

A bright point of the weekend was that third-year Mary Claire Tuohy was named all-tournament team. Tuohy tallied 10 digs and three assists on Friday, but followed with a monster day on Saturday, compiling an impressive 65 digs, and nine assists.

The South Siders started the weekend strong, sweeping Hiram. All of the sets were fairly decisive: 25–18, 25–20, and 25–14, and the Maroons added another win to their three-game streak. Fourth-year Maren Loe had a solid game with 16 kills and eight digs, and classmate Ragine Graves was a huge contributor with 31 assists and 13 digs.

Saturday started with a big rivalry match between the two nationally ranked teams: the Maroons and the Lady Reds of Carthage. Although it was a very competitive game, Chicago was unable to keep the momentum going, losing in five sets. The Lady Reds beat the Maroons 25–15 the first set. Chicago was able to step it up in the next two sets, taking the lead 2–1. However, Carthage won the fourth match to tie it up, and the South Siders couldn’t recover. The Lady Reds were able to take home the close win in the fifth set 18–16.

Loe had another impressive all-around game with 22 digs, 23 kills and five blocks. First-year Sarah Muisenga totaled 15 digs, while Tuohy compiled 23 digs and six assists against Carthage.

Later that day, the South Siders took on DePauw. Chicago came ready to play winning the first set 25–15. The Maroons were unable to keep control in the second and third sets, losing 15–25 and 25–23 respectively. However, they fought back and were able to come out on top in the fourth set, winning 25–21. The Tigers clinched the fifth set 15–11 and won the match.

Although the Maroons went 1–2 this weekend, they played very competitively and took two good teams to five matches, even though the end result wasn’t what they hoped for.

“We were excited to play some really tough teams. Unfortunately, the weekend didn’t go as well as we were hoping for. We have brushed those losses off, though, and are completely focused on next weekend. We still have a chance to win some important matches at UAA’s,” Ragine Graves commented on the team’s weekend. “After the tough losses this weekend, it places even more pressure on us for the championships. Honestly we just need to take care of ourselves and lock in mentally. At this point it is up to all the training we’ve put in this entire season, and I trust it will get us where we need to be.”

The Maroons are looking forward to next weekend, when they will travel to Rochester, NY for the UAA championships. The South Siders are determined to play the way they know how. Chicago is 19–10 overall and confident that they can bring home the victory this weekend.