Luther College Chips

Volleyball’s season ends in ARC semifinal game

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Grace Meyers (‘22), Natalie Cote (‘19), Anna Larson (‘19), Katie Shabatura (‘19), and Sam Sixta (‘20) celebrate after a point against Loras College on Oct. 30.

Grace Meyers (‘22), Natalie Cote (‘19), Anna Larson (‘19), Katie Shabatura (‘19), and Sam Sixta (‘20) celebrate after a point against Loras College on Oct. 30.

Emily Turner (‘19) | Photo Bureau

Emily Turner (‘19) | Photo Bureau

Grace Meyers (‘22), Natalie Cote (‘19), Anna Larson (‘19), Katie Shabatura (‘19), and Sam Sixta (‘20) celebrate after a point against Loras College on Oct. 30.

Emily Kidwell, Staff Writer

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Luther Volleyball beat Loras College in the first round of the American Rivers Conference Tournament 25-18, 25-14, and 25-22 in the Regents Center Gym on Oct. 30. However, Luther’s season came to an end on Thursday Nov. 1 after they lost at Wartburg College in the ARC semifinals, which went to five sets.

The set scores against Warburg were 13-25, 29-27, 17-25, 25-22, and 7-15. Luther ended the season with an overall record of 15-17 and 5-3 in conference play.

Co-captains Anna Larson (‘19) and Karissa Kime (‘20) finished the match against Loras with 13 and 10 kills respectively. Sam Sixta (‘20) added 25 assists and 11 digs, while Natalie Cote  (‘19) had 19 digs.

After the game against Loras, Kime noted that Luther entered the match with confidence.

Emily Turner (‘19) | Photo Bureau
Anna Larson (‘19 ) receives a hit in Luther’s winning match against Loras College.

“We walked into the gym with intent, and you could just tell from the first point that we were here to play,” Kime said. “At the beginning of the season we may not have had that every match, but I feel like we’ve really improved [since the beginning].”

The 3-0 win against Loras is also the first time Luther has swept a team in the conference tournament since the six-team tournament format began in 2005. This was also the third year in a row that Luther qualified for the conference semifinals.

Head Volleyball Coach Brittany Sisk attributed the sweep against Loras to the team’s mentality and preparation for the match.

“The mental mindset that the girls walked into the gym with tonight [contributed to the win],” Sisk said. “You could just tell that they were just ready to play tonight and push this conference tournament forward.”

Sisk hoped the team’s mentality and focus would translate over to the Wartburg match.   

Emily Turner (‘19) | Photo Bureau
Natalie Cote (’19) bumps the ball in a match against Loras College.

“Wartburg is always tough mentally, so if we can get over that mindset and play just as disciplined as we did tonight then it should be a really good game,” Sisk said, before Thursday’s match.

Earlier in the season, Luther lost to Wartburg 3-0. However, according to  Sixta, Luther has improved since playing their conference rival on Sept. 12.

“We played [Wartburg] early in the season and we really didn’t have all of our lineups and everything figured out,” Sixta said. “Now that we are more consistent, I think we have a really good shot at beating them.”

In the match against Wartburg, Kime record 18 kills, while Larson and Emma Veum (‘19) both had 13 kills. Additionally, Sixta had 48 assists and 17 digs, while Cote added 25 digs.

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