For the first time since 2005, Texas Wesleyan’s volleyball team has reached nationals.
The Lady Rams fell 3-0 to Oklahoma City University in the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament’s championship match on Saturday; as a result of being the conference tournament runner-up, the team automatically received a bid to the NAIA national championship opening round, according to ramsports.net.
The Lady Rams will host Campbellsville University from Kentucky at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Head Lady Rams coach Priscilla Morgan said she is so proud of the team.
“I am so proud about this team achieving our bid to nationals,” Morgan said. “This has been a big goal for us and to accomplish this in my first tear at Texas Wesleyan is so humbling. This program has not been to nationals since 2005, a 12-year absence.”
Senior outside hitter Shelby Stinnett was named first-team all-conference and all-tournament team and junior setter/right side Sasha Robinson was named second team all-conference and all-tournament team.
Stinnett said she feels blessed.
“I have spent years striving towards making it to nationals, and have always fell short until this year, which just so happens to be my last so it couldn’t have happened at a more perfect time,” she said.
Morgan said that “One Team” has been the main focus of the season.
“During the conference tournament, which started last Tuesday with the home quarter-final game, our team has been focused on being ‘One Team,’ she said. “They have been united and even when someone wasn’t performing well during a game, everyone was there to pick that person up.”
Stinnett said she is super excited about playing a team the Lady Rams haven’t played before.
“I love that we have home-court advantage and get to play someone we have never seen before,” she said. “I’m ready to see how we compare to a ranked opponent. We are ready to be seen as a strong competitive program and to earn respect within the NAIA and I think this is just the game to help us do that.”
Robinson said that it is going to be important for them to remember that they are an extremely talented team.
“We are a dominant team,” she said. “We all work so well together and we deserve to be here. We have worked our hind ends off this whole season and it finally paid off. This is our year. It’s about time Texas Wesleyan volleyball gets the accolades it deserves.”
Texas Wesleyan plays Campbellsville University at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Sid Richardson Center. For more information, go to ramsports.net