Volleyball team loses NAIA tournament

From left: Junior Katherine Hozian (No. 8), senior Terese Byrne (No. 13), senior Molly Goldbach (No. 3), and junior Carolyn Goettsch (No. 15) celebrate a point during a game in the first round of the NAIA National Championship. Photo by Ethan Barse.

By Andrew Kriz

Olivet’s volleyball team is done for the season.

Despite a promising 28-13 finish during the regular season, the team was knocked out of the NAIA National Championship tournament after the first round.

Olivet, who was receiving votes in the NAIA poll, played 22-ranked Grand View University (Iowa).

Olivet lost in three sets 25-12, 25-15 and 25-18.

They had hoped to do better. Head coach Brenda Williams summed up the team’s attitude after the game. “[We are disappointed,] not with losing, but how we lost,” head coach Brenda Williams said. “We didn’t play well at all. Grand View looked like they belonged in Nationals that night and we didn’t.”

The Tigers recorded a .222 hitting efficiency in the second game, while Grand View hit .548.

Carolyn Goettsch finished the game with six kills in 14 attempts and three blocks.

“I really thought [Goettsch] played a very inspired game,” Williams said. “She came running in the gym before the game ready to play, followed the game plan and stayed up the whole time.”

Another top player, Molly Goldbach, was out due to injury, which may have contributed to the team’s defeat.

With the end of the 2011 season, four seniors will be departing from the team after graduation.

Goldbach, DeeAnn Garvin, Lauren Comfort, and Terese Byrne played four years for Olivet as starters, reaching the NAIA National Tournament in 2008, 2009 and 2011.

Each player received individual honors as well. Garvin was named a co-player of the year for the CCAC and additionally was the CCAC Libero of the Year. Goldbach was named to the CCAC first team while Byrne was named to the second team.

Comfort was also the team’s NAIA Champions of Character Representative.

“They have been through the good and bad times and all of them have been NAIA Scholar Athletes while they were here,” Williams said of the seniors.

“They have set high standards for those who follow. They are all wonderful Christian young women and are going to go far in life.”

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