Volleyball team defeats alumnae in exhibition
Published: Sunday, August 19, 2012
Updated: Sunday, August 19, 2012 01:08
Traditions cannot survive if there is no one to pass those traditions along to.
For the UNC volleyball team, one of many traditions players partake in is the annual Alumnae Exhibition match, when players from any past squad has the opportunity to challenge the current team.
In Saturday’s match, the University of Northern Colorado defeated its older counterparts in three sets (25-22, 25-19, 25-16). The excitement of the game is seen on both sides of the net, something head coach Lyndsey Oates said enhances the match.
“I think this is really neat to have (the alumnae) enjoy it so much,” Oates said. “I mean, they look forward to coming back. It’s not doing us a favor, it goes both ways. They love coming back and playing and being able to tease through the net, and we’ve been training for three weeks. We should be beating the alumnae, who are a little rough, don’t play six hours every day, especially the past three weeks, but they gave us a great match tonight.”
As part of one of the youngest alumnae teams, libero Amanda Arterburn (2008-11) had her first experience on the squad. Arterburn spent only the second set as the libero, with Breanna Van Der Most (2006-09) taking the first and Abby Mayne (2004-07) finishing in the defensive specialist spot. Arterburn tallied 11 digs in the match, the most for the alumnae.
“It was weird since I’d played in (the alumnae match) for four years against all the girls who have played against me, but being the one on the opposite side against all the girls that I had just played with, it wasn’t awkward,” Arterburn said. “It was just refreshing to know that all these girls are going to take up this legacy and what I left behind here and what all the blood, sweat and tears that we’ve left here have is in good hands.”
The hands Arterburn left her position to are those of junior MeridethJohnson , who had 20 digs during the match.
“I care about that girl so much,” Arterburn said. “I know the ones before me cared about me the way I cared about Merideth, and it’s just a big system and a circle and it all goes back, and the way that you love the people under you really showed because she was a star tonight.”
Freshman outside hitter Kendra Cunningham was able to take the court for the first time as a Bear and had four kills and a service ace, contributing to the young talent on a veteran team.
“Right now her biggest strength is in the back row,” Oates said. “So I think that’s where she’ll give us the most immediately, but she can obviously score in the front row, so she’ll be given opportunities there.”
With three seniors in their final year on the squad, being able to see players they used to play with is always fun. Outside hitter Kelley Arnold said she still talks to a lot of them, and is planning on joining them next year.