How Washburn Volleyball is No.1

Alyssa Carney digs the ball up for the setter at the Nebraska-Kearney game on Friday.

Dylan McManis

In case you didn’t know, Washburn women’s volleyball swept their opening tournament Sept. 2-3 4-0 without dropping a single set to their opponents.

This just goes to emphasize the point made by the preseason coach’s poll that states the Ichabods will win the MIAA.

The Ichabods have never lost a match during the invitational since its creation. With these four wins, the Ichabods have a record of 36-0 during the invitational. Although the conference matches haven’t started yet, the Ichabods are already at the top of the leaderboards as one of five teams to come out of the weekend undefeated.

Much of the preseason predictions are based off the team’s performance from last year, where the Ichabods put up a 28-6 season record before dropping to No.1 seed Central Oklahoma during the semi-finals of the MIAA tournament. But the team’s roster hasn’t changed too much, and many of the members are stepping up.

The invitational Most Valuable Player was Washburn senior Leanna Willer, a player that almost never left the court during the entire tournament. She scored 53 points over the course of the entire tournament with 47 kills. Meaning that over 88 percent of the points scored by Leanna over the weekend were spikes that landed in the opponent’s service box and scored without being touched by the other team.

“I feel pretty good,” said Willer. “I mean, whenever you go 4-0 it’s a pretty good feeling. Washburn has a pretty good tradition of starting the season strong. So we kept to that.”

Despite boasting an almost four kill per set average as well as having been ranked 23rd nationally in total kills, Willer was modest about her team’s standings.

“Being picked first is super cool, but the top four teams in the MIAA are all super close so we try to not let that go to our heads. We know we have our work cut out for us,” said Willer.

Last week, Erica Montgomery was picked from the Volleyball team as being the freshman to watch on the team throughout the whole season.

“I was kinda nervous going in. But I told myself I couldn’t be nervous, I just had to go out there and get the job done,” said Montgomery.

Montgomery was the only freshman to have played in all four matches of the invitational, as well as putting up a two kill per set record.

“I think we have a really good chance of winning. Each game we’ve played we’ve gotten better and better, and if we keep that up then we should get this all done.”

Between standout freshmen and seniors that never seem to stop, Washburn Volleyball is No. 1.