Wartburg rivalry week

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Wartburg rivalry week

Andrew Atkins ('22) runs through the Wartberg defense.

Andrew Atkins ('22) runs through the Wartberg defense.

Photo courtesy of Photo Bureau

Andrew Atkins ('22) runs through the Wartberg defense.

Photo courtesy of Photo Bureau

Photo courtesy of Photo Bureau

Andrew Atkins ('22) runs through the Wartberg defense.

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The women’s volleyball team and the men’s football team both faced off last week at home against rival school Wartburg College. This marked the beginning of both teams’ conference seasons. Women’s volleyball lost in three consecutive sets on September 17th, and the football team lost 62-10 on September 21st. 

  In a best three out of five, Wartburg won three consecutive sets(25-19, 25-11, 25-18) to win the match.  Luther trailed in the first two sets, but they rallied in the third set by opening with  a 13-8 lead which caused a Wartburg timeout.  Wartburg then went on a run and finished off the set and the match. 

Paige Yontz (‘20) led the team with seven kills, while Sam Sixta (‘20) led the team with 16 assists.  The volleyball team is currently 3-11, and their next home game is October 4th against Loras College. 

Women’s Volleyball Captain Yontz emphasized the importance of focusing on the game itself rather than the rivalry.

“We always joke on the volleyball team that we’re just playing another orange team, some people in orange jerseys on the other side,” Yontz said. “We try not to get too caught up in the name on their jersey, because they have the same reaction to us. We’re their rival as well.”

For Head Volleyball Coach Brittany Sisk, it is about more than just one game. It’s about building a strong program around a good culture.

“We did graduate all but one of our starting positions, so we walked into this season basically a brand new team,” Sisk said.  “Our first goal was to continue to build the type of culture that can both challenge and support one another to be better people, teammates, and athletes each day.  I think our team has done a fantastic job working on this.” 

The football team played the Knights at home on Saturday.  Luther brought the score to 7-20 with a 44-yard rushing touchdown by Quon Lambert (‘20) in the second quarter.  In the third quarter, Wartburg pulled away and defeated Luther 62-10, with Lambert scoring the lone touchdown and Jonah Zaimes (‘21) adding a field goal in the third quarter.  Luther football is now 0-3, with their next game at Coe College in Cedar Rapids. 

Despite the loss, the football team felt very motivated about playing a rivalry game.  Football Captain Ian Kuykendall (‘20) talked about how it feels different to play in a rivalry game. 

“It means everything, in a rivalry,” Kuykendall said. “There’s a different feeling when you step on the field and you play them. You give it your all every game, but in this game…more than your all. You walk off that field feeling like you just gave everything you had, because you know how important it is to your school, to your teammates, and coaches.”

According to Kuykendall, this game was very important for the team.  In addition to this being a rivalry game, it was the first conference game of the season.  While the loss is a setback, Kuykendall believes Luther football can handle adversity. 

“I mean, adversity can do two things to somebody,” Kuykendall said. “It can drive you into the ground or it could drive you to be the best possible version of yourself. And we have been, in my opinion, on the steady come up, or improving every week, which is one of our mottos. We relentlessly improve.”

Photo courtesy of Photo Bureau
Paige Yontz (’20) bumps the ball to a teammate while her teammates look on.

 

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