The 2014 volleyball season has been all about redemption for UAFS. Now they have a chance to get it.
The Lady Lions were upset in the Heartland Conference tournament last season on their home floor. Now they're out to reclaim their conference title.
UAFS has won the regular season league title after going 15-1 and lost just five sets but now it's time to get payback.
"The main focus is to just taking on every point, working on what we’ve been working on practice also just focusing on what we need to do to be able to get the job done," sophomore Emily Tripp said.
Tripp was one of four players to be honored by the Heartland Conference earlier this week as she was named the league's defensive player of the year. Michelle Walker was named the overall player of the year for the second straight season while coach Jane Sargent picked up her third straight coach of the year award.
Though the individual awards are nice, Walker said she's focused on building the team from within.
"As a team we’ve connected a lot better this year," Walker said. "Our chemistry is a lot better on the court so hopefully going into the conference tournament, I think we’ll do a lot better."
UAFS has won nine straight games heading into this weekend's conference tournament at the Stubblefield Center but their last loss, on Oct. 9th might have been a blessing in disguise.
"It’s probably one of the better things that could have happened to us because we regrouped," Sargent said. "The team had a meeting themselves, they called a meeting and the seniors sort of took charge of this team. Losing is never great but it sometimes you have to lose a battle to win the war."
UAFS will face No. 4 seed St. Mary's in the opening round on Friday while No. 2 seed St. Edward's will face No. 3 seed Newman University. The Lady Lions swept the regular season series with St. Mary's, winning all six sets.