The UC Irvine Women’s Volleyball team came out with a phenomenal win against Long Beach State on Nov. 8 at Crawford Court in a Big West Conference match.
After a four-game losing steak, the Anteaters proved that they were still strong and ready for action.
‘They played with determination,’ said Head Coach Charlie Brande. ‘Time, practice, work and the desire to do well have allowed them to come together. Before the game we talked about one heart, and playing as one.’
And indeed playing with heart and soul is exactly what the Anteaters did. In game one, UCI rocked hard with a 30-24 win, showing the crowd that they were ready to make up for lost time.
In the second game, the 49ers fought back with a 30-26 win. But with the determination and heart that Brande had in mind, the Anteaters showed the 49ers what they were made of as they won the next two games 30-28 and 30-25.
‘It felt good, so much better. We’ve played and been together, and after four losses and the loss against Idaho last weekend, it just feels really good to get back at it,’ said sophomore outside hitter Terbrie Taylor.
Against the 49ers, Taylor fired up and cranked up the kills. Working the outside of the net, Taylor came out with a total of 18 kills in four games. In game two, Taylor pumped up the team with two great kills.
With the assistance of the team setter, junior Ashlie Hain, Taylor and others were able to convert such excellent kills. With endurance and mental strength, Hain set up her players with the perfect balls to initiate the most deadly kills.
‘As a setter you have to not let the emotions get in the way in order to do well and make sure everyone works together,’ Hain said.
With a total of 59 assists in four games, Hain was tireless and hungry for a win in the match on Saturday night.
‘I feel really good about this game. I think after a losing streak, we really concentrated on what [Long Beach State] was doing this week. We were really hungry to play,’ Hain said. ‘That was the difference and we really wanted this one. We got back to our old selves and just played the game.’
Junior outside hitter Kelly Wing led the Anteaters with 21 kills in the match and even recorded the last winning kill in game four.
Junior middle blocker Dana Kurzbard contributed many great blocks during the night by walling the 49ers and setting the Anteaters’ defense standards.
The crowd was even hyped up for a win as the members of the UCI Men’s Volleyball team ran onto the court, top naked, bearing the phrase ‘Trash the Beach.’
For Long Beach State, Head Coach Brian Gimmilaro was optimistic about the overall performance of his team and UCI.
‘Sometimes you do things you execute, sometimes you don’t,’ Gimmilaro said. ‘But I am happy about my team. They played well, but UCI did much stronger than we did.’
With that evident strength, the ladies of the UC Irvine Volleyball team will battle next the Mustangs on Nov. 14 at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as they continue conference play.