NICK THOMPSON, TRUMPET SPORTS EDITOR
That’s how the Wartburg volleyball team finished, with the regular season undefeated and their seventh straight conference title following a comeback against Coe. The Knights followed that up by being the top team in Region IX.
Fifth-year seniors Kylie Bildstein and Katie Foster led the team. With this being their last season in the orange and black, the expectations were high.
“Kylie and I both had very big goals for this team when we decided to come back for our fifth year. We knew that with the key players we had returning that this year could be something special. We always have the conference title as a goal every year, but this year we wanted it to solely be ours, not sharing it with another team in the conference,” Foster said.
Wartburg hosted the eight-team Region IX tournament Nov. 12–14. The Knights fell to the No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas after a 3–2 match.
The team has a chemistry that the players say helped in the season’s success. For some of the underclassmen, this is their first full year at a Wartburg College athlete due to COVID shortening the previous season — and the helps of veterans has made an impact.
“I think of many people who have helped me adjust to the busier schedule of this year’s regular-season compared to last year’s short season. I think it has helped me to talk to older teammates in the same classes and major as me to that I am able to stay on top of my schoolwork,” Emerson Krecht, second-year volleyball player, said.
“I try to lead by example in the way I practice, play and conduct myself off the court. We have a team full of mature athletes who realize what we are doing this year is very special but we know we can’t get fixated on things like our record. We just have to show up every day and try to be better than the day before,” Foster said.
“Our team is so close with each other and I think we push each other every day to give 100% in practice. We always make sure to have fun and enjoy the process of having a regular season again,” Bildstein said.
Although the starting lineup gets a lot of attention, this team is solid from the top to the bottom.
“Our coaches know when to push us and when to give us breaks so we feel our best when it matters. It is 100% a team effort and I know we could never be where we are today without every single person on the team playing their role,” Foster said.