Wisconsin Sports

High ranking, high expectations for Viterbo

Strong Start for Viterbo

LA CROSSE, Wis. - With victories over four ranked opponents and a top-25 ranking, expectations are high over at R.W. Beggs Gymnasium on the campus of Viterbo.

The V-Hawks were ranked 15th in the nation when the NAIA released it's preseason volleyball poll last week.

After experiencing the NAIA National Tournament two seasons ago, 2013 ended with a 3-0 loss to Grand View in the MCC Championship.

"Last year was a good year, we just didn't get to where we wanted to be so there's a lot of motivation for our seniors to get back to the national tournament and have a little more success," said head coach Ryan DeLong who enters his tenth season leading the program.

"Not making it last year was kind of a bummer because we made it the year before," said senior Alicia Olson.

Viterbo's 6-0 start against quality competition gives confidence to the entire team that a trip to the NAIA National Tournament is a possibility this season.

"We went to nationals two years ago so obviously we want to go back there so beating those teams really shows us where we're at," said senior Brianna Brinkman. "And being able to beat those teams shows us we can hang with some of the best teams in the nation and that we are one of the best teams in the nation."

Olson, the 2013 MCC Player of the Year, returns. Brinkman has been at her side as a setter since the two seniors first stepped on campus.

"The best thing about it is she's humble. Every time she gets a kill she comes to me first and says nice set so I wouldn't have it any other way."

"We play well together, we just literally look at each other and we know what we're doing," said Olson. "We don't have to say a thing so I don't think I got that with anyone else yet."

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