Vivian Engen

Staff Writer

The Colorado College women’s volleyball team has high expectations going into this weekend’s Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship tournament in Sherman, Texas.

With tough losses to avenge and a healthier lineup than they have had all year, the Tigers are ready to pounce on a conference title. “We expect great competition but we expect to win the tournament,” said senior captain Kristen Liberty.

The third-seeded Tigers take on tournament host and sixth-seeded Austin College on Friday in their first game of the tournament.

Also standing in their way are potential matches against second-seeded Southwestern University and top seeded Trinity University.

The Tigers, (27-7 overall, 11-3 SCAC), closed out their conference season two weeks ago with back-to-back losses against the two top seeds.

“Conference matches are always very dramatic because of the rivalries between teams,” said Liberty, “and we definitely have some payback to take care of this weekend.”

“Trinity has very strong offensive players and Southwestern is less powerful but more clever with their offense,” Liberty continued. In the conference tournament, “we definitely need to focus on our defense.”

Head coach Rick Swan said the team learned some valuable lessons from its late-season losses. “Now we know what we have to do and we know what it will take to win the conference championship,” he said.

The Tigers will also have a full, healthy roster for the first time this season and have been experimenting with different lineups in practice all week.

This should leave them ready for whatever challenges are spiked their way this weekend. “We see this as the first step in a long play-off block,” said Liberty.

“We definitely respect our opponents, but we believe we have not shown the conference our best volleyball yet,” she added. “We’re excited to get out there and dominate.”

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