Lady Buffs Close Out the Regular Season

Allie Smith, Sports Editor

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Tonight marked the turning of a page for the WT volleyball seniors as they beat Texas A&M- Commerce in their last regular season set.

 As the seniors finish this chapter of their careers in The Box with a win (25-18, 15-25, 25-13, 25-21), they prepare to begin the post-season chapter against Texas A&M- Kingsville next weekend in San Angelo at the Lone Star Conference Championship tournament.

 “It’s playoff time,” senior Cori Haley said. “Now we win or go home. Now it really is one game at a time and that’s all we have to focus on. We have to put ourselves into everything.”

 Although this particular path is not what they are used to, the Lady Buffs are looking to use their underdog status as an advantage.

 “It’s going to be interesting,” senior Lauren Britten said. “We’re going in as the sixth seed, which is pretty low for our program history, but I think we could surprise people. If we come out like we did tonight with energy and we come together, I think we could really do something special.”

WT can build on the well-rounded game tonight, which boasted multiple players in the double digits in kills, assists, and digs.

 “Tonight, our blocking was amazing,” said senior Kyli Schulz, who registered 10 assists. “That’s something that we haven’t had, and we need to keep that up. We dug lights out. They were hitting hard at us and we dug them up, so we just need to replicate those and learn from the bad things that we did.”

 Head coach Jason Skoch said that he believes the team is in the right mindset for playoffs time.

 “I feel like we’re on the uprise,” Skoch said. “I don’t know what that will mean, but not every team can say that at the end of the year, so I feel pretty good.”

 As they continue into the post-season, Schulz said that the team is going to keep in mind those who helped get the program to where it is today.

 “Being a WT volleyball player, I think it’s cool to hold everything that it means, like the legacy and the tradition,” Schulz said. “Some people don’t want that pressure, but I think it’s a really cool thing that we have, because a lot of other places don’t have that.”

 One thing Schulz, Haley and Britten agreed on was the huge impact that being a Lady Buff has had on their lives.

 “I don’t think it’s hit me yet, but I’m honestly just so thankful for this program, for The Box, and everything that comes with it,” Britten said. “It’s definitely made me much stronger as a person. I think coming in, I didn’t have my own voice as much. Now, I’ve been able to work and to fight out through different odds. Between injuries, new people coming in, and getting everyone on the same page, I think it’s definitely made me grow as a person.”

 Haley is thankful for her experiences.

 “It’s fun while you’re here,” Haley said. “It’s incredible. You get to experience all these cool traditions, and all this history at the school while making lifelong friends. On top of that, you learn lifelong lessons from Skoch, from athletics, from our fans, from all of our support. It’s been life-changing.”

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