For the first time since 2003, the Racer Volleyball team has claimed the OVC Championship tournament.
With the winning point, the team fell to the floor, some with tears and others jumping for the trophy. They simply could not find words to describe their feelings.
The next move in store for the Racers is the 2014 Division Volleyball Championship. There will be a live unveiling of the field for the championship at 7:30 p.m., Nov 30 on ESPNU. Until then, the Racers will not know what team they will play next or when. The championship game will take place Dec. 18 and 20 in Oklahoma City.
“We work so much trying to not think about the OVC Championship that it’s hard to think about it now that we’ve won,” Head Coach David Schwepker said. “It’s hard to say anything but we are just so excited and it’s well deserved.”
Along with their championship title, the Racers recognize three all-tournament team members, sophomore right side, Kristen Besselsen, junior setter, Sam Bedard and junior middle blocker Alyssa Lelm. Bedard was also named the MVP of the OVC tournament.
“I was not expecting that at all,” said Bedard. “I am speechless about it but it was definitely awesome.”
Schwepker said he has pushed her all season and sometimes she may not have like the pressure but she is a team player and has proven to be great.
The Racers are the only team to have swept their matches and only play three of the five sets in the tournament. Starting against the Bruins, the two teams played a typical back and forth set proving why both of them are ranked the top two teams.
According the GoRacers.com, Racer Arena was packed with 1,254 fans from all over. The teams tied 15 separate times, only putting themselves ahead of each other by no more than two points until they hit 21-21. The Racers then pushed through, taking the first set at 25-21. The second set started no different but ended similarly with the Racers 25-16 and also taking the third set 25-22.
“These girls kept fighting no matter what,” Schwepker said. “I know they were nervous and everyone could see they were doing things they don’t normally do. They settled down and worked hard. The last two years of hard work and determinations helped us get to this point.”
Schwepker avoided talking about the OVC Championship all season but with the title in hand he simply couldn’t ignore the victory.
“I don’t have words to describe what we’ve done,” Schwepker said. “We’re going to home and celebrate with family and do exactly what we’ve been doing all season—it’s just another game.”
Story by Kelsey Randolph, Assistant Sports Editor