The Knox College volleyball team faced off against conference opponent Beloit College on last Saturday and had chance to take themselves from the middle of the pack to a spot of respectability in the Midwest Conference rankings. Beloit, ranked second in the conference, looked to be a tough test for the Prairie. A win would be a true statement of the direction the program was headed in, and the hunger that the women of the court possessed. After last Wednesday’s loss to Robert Morris, the team was anxious to switch what could become a bad downhill slide after a couple of weeks off.
Beloit is considered a powerhouse this year when it comes to volleyball, and Knox was facing a tough task. Game one, which Knox has typically struggled in this year even in victory, was a battle. Ultimately, the Buccaneers were able to prevail, and took the game, 25-18.
The Prairie Fire no doubt took this in stride, and headed out onto the floor to try to take game two. The Buccaneers proceeded to lay a beat down on the Prairie Fire, holding them to only 11 points. From here, it was all downhill, and Knox succumbed to the eventuality of being Beloit’s newest victim, losing the third game 25-18, giving the Bucs the sweep. It was a disappointing day, While Coach Schrader and the players have pointed out many times that you learn more from a loss than a win, this was still a crushing defeat.
Individually, the Fire performed well, and despite the disappointing offensive production, there was some nice defense being played. Senior Jaclyn Anderson laid down four blocks, and junior Katharina Schulte joined her with three. Freshman Lisa Blagg was all over the court with 11 digs, while junior Karen Frost had 10, and the two stopped the match from being a total blowout.
In all, despite playing against a superior foe, the Fire were able to mount a decent showing against them, and it gives a good feeling as to the direction that this team is headed. With just a few more plays going their way, and some work on holding onto the momentum once they gain it, Knox could be a scary team to face as the post-season looms