Playoff run leaves volleyball team hopeful for future

Frank Passalacqua, Sports Editor

As the Lady Colonels volleyball team closes the season at 9-16, it moves to 4-3 in league play and clinched the third playoff spot in the Freedom Conference Tournament.

By defying the odds and making the playoffs for the first time since 2009, Coach Joseph Czopek reflected on the season and looked forward to what the future holds for the Lady Colonels.

“This season definitely turned out better than anticipated,” Czopek said. “We were ranked sixth in the Freedom Conference in the preseason poll and fought our way to a third-place finish.

“Going into the playoffs this weekend is a challenge due to the set backs the storm caused.  We hope to regain our momentum that carried us through the FDU match and play at that level against DeSales.”

Standout junior Casey Bohan agreed the season has been a fun journey.

“This season turned out to be so much better than anything I had ever expected,” Bohan said. “Our team is small, but the amount of heart we play with is unable to be matched in size. Going into our first playoff game, we are the underdog.

“No one in the conference expected us to make playoffs at all, let alone take the third seat,” she said. “We’re just going to play with everything we’ve got, and hope to come out on top. We’ve got nothing to lose, and the world to gain”

Bohan earned First-Team All-Freedom Conference and recorded a team-best and Freedom-best 406 kills for an average of 4.37 kills per-game. She is also second in the Freedom with 0.76 blocks per-set.

Unfortunately, when the Lady Colonels took the court against the No. 2 seed DeSales University, they were swept 0-3 in the Freedom Conference semifinals at Muhlenberg College. This ended the team’s season and hopes for a championship.

Bohan led Wilkes with match-high 17 kills, five digs and one solo block. Teammates Paige Trusty followed with 13 kills and two assists, Megan Powers also recorded 32 assists, while Erin Nothstein finished with a team-high 23 digs on the night.

Czopek said the team can only improve and has an entire year to build off what hindered them.

“The outlook for this team is a continuing to grow as we will not graduate anyone this coming spring,” Czopek said. “All eight players are returning, and we hope to bring in some recruits that can help improve the offensive side of our game.

“Our defense was spectacular this season,” he said, “and I can only see the program growing from here on out.”

The Freedom Conference Championship was played Nov. 4 with DeSales facing Eastern University for the title.

The Wilkes University volleyball team saw it magical postseason run come to an end falling in straight sets 3-0 against No. 2 seed DeSales University Friday night in the Freedom Conference semifinals at Muhlenberg College.