The Lady Rams volleyball team got the news on Nov. 10 that they would be playing in the opening round of the NAIA National Tournament this weekend.

The team plays McPherson College in McPherson, Kan. The time of the game is yet to be determined, according to ramsports.net.

The team’s overall record is 24-10 and 17-3 in the Sooner Athletic Conference; the Lady Rams won eight games in a row between Oct. 20 and Nov. 10, according to ramsports.net.

Last Friday, six Lady Rams received 2018 All-Conference honors. Tierra Coverson was named Defensive Player of the Year, according to ramsports.net. She and Sasha Robinson “received first team designations,” while Brianna Sitton and Dana Lohrke were named to the second team, and Honorable Mentions went to Chastiny Brown and Brenda Pargas.

Freshman defensive specialist Ashley Curry wrote in an email that the players were “filled with bliss” when they realized they were going back to the tournament.

“After the game-winning point on Friday, there was so much excitement and joy that we’d be returning to nationals,” Curry wrote.

Curry believes that the team is returning because of their unified thoughts.

“We performed as one unit all wanting the same thing,” Curry wrote. “There were no individuals on the court that day, it was one team.”

Sarah Benitez, senior defensive specialist, imagines that the team will do better than last year because of how cohesive the team is this year.

“We unfortunately did not make it out of pool play [last year], but I definitely think we can this year. We mesh well and are stronger because we now know what to expect,” Benitez wrote in an email.

Benitez wrote that they lost to McPherson earlier in the season, but they were not at their full potential.

“We had some injuries at that time, so we did not have our full team,” Benitez wrote.

Pargas, a junior setter, wrote in an email that there is some unfinished business with McPherson.

“We have played McPherson early in the season and we lost in 4, but I believe that we’ve grown so much as a team. We’re looking to get some revenge on them,” wrote Pargas.

Pargas trusts that her team is ready for this rematch because of all the hard work the team has been putting in.

“At this point of the season I believe that we are already well prepared for the match,” Pargas wrote. “We just have to fix the little things of the game and the most important thing coming into this match it passion and heart for the game.”

Lady Rams players celebrate learning that they are returning to the NAIA national tournament.
Photo by Miranda Day

The team dresses up for their Oct. 31 practice.
Photo by Miranda Day

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