Blues sweep three in New York

Eric Smith

Some college students take short road trips on the weekends, whether it be to go back home or to visit a friend, but most of the time they stay within the borders of the great state of Kansas.

The Washburn Lady Blues volleyball team flew to New York for the weekend and dominated their opponents in three consecutive 3-0 sweeps.

“We were all really excited, but we knew we had to concentrate on volleyball first and foremost,” said junior setter Kate Hampson. “We got to play three east coast teams, something we haven’t done much of in the past, so that was definitely a new experience.”

The Lady Blues played Adelphi, Bentley and Dowling as part of the Dowling Hilton Garden Inn Invite, and the Washburn women improved their winning streak to 11 matches.

“We did really well,” said sophomore defensive specialist Molly Smith. “We won all of our matches in three games, and they were against tough competition.”

All three of the Lady Blues’ opponents made it to the NCAA tournament last year, but one match stood out among the three.

“I would say our toughest competition was against Dowling because they were the home team and they made it to the Elite 8 last year,” Smith said. “It was a really intense match, but I think we played really well.”

Individually for the Lady Blues, several players stood out for the weekend. Senior outside hitter Monica Miesner had 35 kills and 36 digs while Hampson racked up 86 assists.

“I think Monica had a really good weekend,” said Smith, who had 32 digs herself. “She was a real great defensive player. She picked up a lot of balls.”

Of course, the Washburn women couldn’t go to New York without seeing some of the sites in Big Apple. Ground Zero, Chinatown, Time Square and Central Park were all included on the Blues’ itinerary following the victories on the court.

“We’re just going to walk around and see what New York City is like,” Hampson said.

The Lady Blues, after playing a school-record 11 consecutive road matches to begin the season, will make their home and MIAA debut at 7 p.m. on Wednesday versus Northwest Missouri State.

“They’ve been good in the past,” Hampson said. “They’ve always given us a challenge. We’re definitely going to have to step up our game even more for conference, because every team in our conference is good and always puts up a fight.”

The conference schedule doesn’t get any easier as the Lady Blues take on No. 5-ranked Truman State at 7 p.m. on Friday in Kirksville, Mo. and Missouri Western at 2 p.m. on Saturday in St. Joseph, Mo.

“It’s going to be a good learning experience for our young people who haven’t played a game in our conference,” Hampson said. “It’ll show them how tough it really is. When we play Truman, that’s going to be a big test for us. If we have good practices all week and prepare well, we should be good to go.”