Racer Volleyball falls to No. 9 Illinois in NCAA

Jenny Rohl/The News Junior Sam Bedard sets up freshman Olivia Chatman against Austin Peay State at Racer Arena.

Jenny Rohl/The News
Junior Sam Bedard sets up freshman Olivia Chatman against Austin Peay State at Racer Arena.

The road to the NCAA Tournament was short but well fought for the Racer Volleyball team as they faced No. 9 Illinois last night and fell 0-3.

With the arena packed with Illinois fans, the Racers fought hard to match against the fighting Illini but the Racers fell to the first match 20-25.

The second set took the spirits of most giving Illinois an advantage and taking the second set 9-25.

With one more chance the Racers gave it their all but were not able to defeat Illinois who took the last set 17-25.

“I’m just excited our team was able to come up here and play Illinois,” said Head Coach David Schwepker. “I’m happy with how we preformed.”

With the entire front line on Illinois’ team being 6 foot or taller, the Racers only have one player above 6 foot. This gave the Racers a disadvantage but a challenge. Schwepker said they trained hard and while they didn’t know what would work he said they were going to fight hard no matter what.

“I gave it my all and I didn’t know what to expect,” said junior setter, Sam Bedard. “I adjusted and so did the whole team. We didn’t play as well the second set but we managed to figure out their flaws and come back. I thought we did pretty well.”

Ending the season with no seniors, the entire Racer volleyball team will be returning next season.

Redshirt sophomore right side, Kristen Besselsen said she is excited everyone will be back and said she believes the win from this year will give them an advantage for next year.

“As a coach, I just want to see them go for it and that’s what they did,” Schwepker said. “What happens will happen.”

Story by Kelsey Randolph, Assistant Sports Editor