Volleyball Finishes Year Strong
The Oberlin volleyball team ended its bright season on a sour note this past Wednesday by falling at home to Notre Dame College. The game brought the 2007 volleyball season to an end for the Yeowomen as they said goodbye to seniors Kate Cook and co-captain Deysi Villarreal, who contributed greatly to the team and will surely be missed by the players and fans.
Oberlin experienced a rough start to the season, winning only three of its first 17 games. However, the Yeowomen found their footing and finished the season on a high note, including a win against Ohio Wesleyan, its first conference victory in nearly three years.
On Friday, Oct. 12, Oberlin traveled to Wittenberg University. The nationally-ranked Wittenberg side completed a season double over Oberlin as it won the tie in three straight sets — 30-10, 30-12, 30-15.
Next up was Earlham College, a team that Oberlin could compete against more comfortably. Earlham started out the stronger of the two sides as it claimed victory in the first two sets. With a victory in the third set, Oberlin looked like it was launching a comeback — but that would soon be discarded as Earlham went on to claim the fourth set 30-23 and also the game 3-1.
Victory would eventually come for the Yeowomen as they traveled to Delaware, OH to take on Ohio Wesleyan University. In their first conference win of the season, the Yeowomen played hard, showing their best in a closely-contested tie that needed five sets to be settled.
After losing the first frame to the home team, Oberlin launched a successful comeback, claiming victory in the second and fourth frames and then going on to win the fifth 15-9. First-years Amanda Wysk and Anna Frackman were catalytic in the victory with 17 kills apiece. Villarreal also had a strong game as she raked in 13 kills and 21 digs.
Wooster, OH was the next stop for the Yeowomen as they went up against rival Wooster College on October 19. The first encounter between the two teams had been close, with Wooster holding on until the fifth frame in order to claim the victory. Fans expecting to see the same level of competition were disappointed as the October 19 tie turned out to be a total spanking, with Oberlin on the receiving end as it went down 0-3.
For most of the Oberlin campus, October 20 was the first official day of the eagerly-awaited fall break. It was a very different story for the hardworking Yeowomen, who stayed on campus through the break to finish out their season. That same day, the Yeowomen traveled to Greenville, Pennsylvania where they were to go up against hosts Thiel College and visitors Chatham College. The Yeowomen returned to Oberlin all smiles after adding two victories to their season tally.
In the first game against Chatham, Oberlin swamped the opposition, claiming the victory in three straight sets: 30-12, 30-15 and 30-18. Sophomore Rita Kaplon had a strong performance as she scored a team-high 11 kills. It was the same story against host Thiel as Oberlin comfortably claimed victory in three straight sets — 30-21, 30-28 and 30-15. Oberlin then played host to Denison University on October 24. Although Oberlin showcased a lot of good plays, Denison responded adequately as the visitors went on to win the game 3-1.
On October 27, Philips Gymnasium was the venue for games involving Oberlin College, Hiram College and Case Western Reserve University. In the first game against Hiram, the high level of play put up by the opposition proved too much for Oberlin as it fell in three straight identical sets, each ending 19-30.
Case Western Reserve University was next for Oberlin. This time, the Yeowomen occupied the driving seat as they defeated their opponents 3-1. Senior co-captain Deysi Villareal was on point in her second-to-last game for Oberlin as she raked in a team-high 20 kills in that game. At this point, Oberlin stood at 7-19 overall with one more chance to improve this standing before the season came to a close.
The final game of the season was on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at home against Notre Dame College. With the other Oberlin students back on campus to support them, the Yeowomen looked to end the season on a high note and give their graduating seniors a fitting farewell. The team from Notre Dame had other plans, as they blew the Yeowomen away 30-25, 30-22 and 30-21 to take the game in three straight sets. Villarreal raked in seven kills and 16 digs in her last game for Oberlin, while Wysk and Frackman closed the season with impressive performances, recording 12 and nine kills respectively.
Oberlin ends the 2007 volleyball season standing at 7-20 overall and 1-13 in conference play. As the seniors leave, sophomore Amanda Van Allen expressed how much they will be missed, saying, “Deysi and Kate, you two are the hardest workers I have ever known. You guys brighten up my every day on and off the court. I will miss you so much next year and I look forward to sticking it to you in the alumni match next year.”
The Yeowomen had a very strong season. Not only did they win their first conference game in several years, but they won two more games than they did last season. Although the team loses key players Cook and Villarreal, with the strong first-year class and sophomore defensive specialist Tammela Platt, the team will hope to improve upon this season.