The IUPUI women’s volleyball team won their first game of the season on September 2, 2015. Head Coach, Steve Payne, led our Lady Jaguars to victory against a long time rival Ball State University’s Women’s Volleyball team. Playing against this team every year means a lot to the Jaguars. Not only do they get to show off their great skills in winning games, but the Lady Jags get to show off their growth as a team.
Many students, witnessed a great match, a close game that had fans jumping out of their seats. IUPUI’s blockers dominated the “Attack Zone” as they blocked and dove toward every serve that came their way. What better way to start the season? Winning in three sets, 29-27, 25-29, and 25-18, and having IUPUI’s most competitive team play against one of the most aggressive teams, Ball State, as the first game of the season.
When asked how he felt before the game, Coach Payne stated “I respect Ball State as a team, and I know that they will be a great match-up for tonight’s game.” Noting how aggressive Ball State’s Volleyball team can be, and how we play them every year, Coach Payne declared how he has become familiar with how they like to play the game of Volleyball. “We discovered Ball State’s strengths, and they have great Sizemore Leaders,” said Coach Payne.
After giving credit to Ball State, Coach Payne gave credit to his Senior, Kaitlyn Hickey. As head coach, Payne was proud of Kaitlyn for her performance against IUPUI’s rivals. This is due to the “high expectations” that are given from Payne to Hickey. “If she makes mistakes, it’s not the end of the world, but it doesn’t mean that she is allowed to slack,” said Coach Payne. Setting high standards for Kaitlyn and the rest of his players is only for the team’s “well-being,” Coach Payne knows the talent that spreads throughout his team, and he knows that each player will give 110% just for the love of the game.
Starting Off the Last Season of College Volleyball Right
Senior, Kaitlyn Hickey is one of the “star” players on our Women’s Volleyball team. Kaitlyn played in the first game of the season against Ball State University on September 2, 2015. When asked how it felt to win the first game of her senior year, Hickey stated “It felt really good, knowing that our team can win; it sets our ability to compete higher, and it allows us to become better players and a better team.” Kaitlyn also shared that her journey as a “college volleyball player” has been great, considering the fact that it is her last year playing at the college level.
Being the outstanding leader that she is, Kaitlyn only wants the best for her teammates. She’s already made up her mind to work harder in practices to make sure that her team accomplishes their goal. She claims working harder in practices and becoming a better team each game will increase their chances in participating in the City Tournament. Acknowledging the team’s wants, Kaitlyn takes the “newcomers” of the team under her wing, making the freshmen like starter Sierra Kepski and three others, feel welcome to the team is what Kaitlyn loves to do. She doesn’t allow any separation between the team just because of their grade levels. “I treat everyone equally, we can all play each position, and we’re all good at what we do,” says Hickey. Kaitlyn makes it a point to help her teammates on and off the court, and as long as she can do that, she knows that she will always be apart of the team.
For freshman Sierra Kepski, this was her first college volleyball game. Against the school’s rival, Ball State University, Sierra states that she “felt comfortable playing in a big game that meant a lot to the school and the team." Sierra is only 1 of 4 freshmen on the team and she says that the seniors are “very helpful and accepting.” She likes the fact that they push her to be better on and off the court. When asked how she felt after winning “The Big Game,” Sierra said that “they had a great game, and everyone played together to get the win.”