By JACK VANASSCHE, Staff Writer
After winning only one of their first five matches, the University of Michigan Dearborn volleyball team traveled nearly 900 miles to Maine for the Husson University Volleyball Invitational Tournament.
The Wolverines (6-4) could not be stopped, blowing out their opponents and only dropping one set on their way to winning the tournament.
Upon arriving in Maine, the Wolverines handled their first two opponents with ease, sweeping Unity College and the University of Maine at Presque Isle. In each set the Wolverines were victorious by at least 11 points.
The Wolverines’ renovated fast-paced offense proved too mighty for the opposition. Exceptional setting by freshman Daniella Barile paired well with the accurate offensive weapons wearing maize and blue such as junior Bri Alspaugh.
Saturday, the Wolverines continued their success from the day before by first sweeping the University of Maine at Machias. In each set, the Wolverines won by at least 12 points.
After a short break, the Wolverines took down the host school, Husson, again in straight sets. This match was noticeably tougher for the Wolverines than the previous three, winning 25-22, 25-19, and 25-17.
Finally, in their fifth match in 24 hours, the Wolverines sealed the tournament win by taking down the University of Maine at Fort Kent in four sets (25-21, 25-21,22-25,25-20).
Asked if fatigue had an effect on her team, senior captain Colby DeMare answered, “Yes! We played three games in a row with minimal breaks and I can say that this definitely slowed our game down a bit.”
Regardless, the Wolverines dug deep and made a statement in the process.
“This year is different,” said DeMare. “In past years if we were down we would just die. This team has shown that we can always push through the tough parts.”
With their sixth win of the season, the team has already matched their win total from all of last season.
DeMare explained that this tournament win is bigger than just the weekend.
“This success is changing the culture of this team. We are a very strong team this year and this weekend should show other teams in the conference that we won’t be easy to beat.”
The Wolverines will get their first chance to prove themselves in the conference on Wednesday, Sept. 7, as they travel to Marygrove for a 7 p.m. showdown.