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Volleyball likely to be nationally ranked with recent victories

Eastern’s volleyball team has been cooking this season as they roast all their opponents on the road to their 15-0 record.

After beating two nationally-ranked teams, Stevens Tech University and Haverford College, the Eagles have rocked the MAC world and are not about to stop. The team also battled through a fierce five-game match against York College on Sept. 20, showing their true colors of perseverance and character.

Head coach Mark Birtwistle said that there is a decent chance our volleyball team could be nationally ranked after their big wins. He also said that Eastern is in the top 50 of NCAA Division III teams this season for hitting percentage. At one point in the season they were ranked first in the nation.

As a team, all of the girls are extremely excited about being undefeated.

“It’s amazing; I love it,” first-year Courtney Reinhold said.

Birtwistle is extremely proud of his team. “They are a very mature group,” he said, referring to the six first-years on the team, five of whom are often on the court. “They make a big impact.”

Sophomore Nicole Burns is also proud of her team, specifically their honesty with one another. “We’re all 100 percent real to each other,” she said.

The girls have been working well as a team by having lots of spirit during matches. “Everybody’s encouraging everybody,” Reinhold said.

The team often energizes each other by having pre-game dance parties in the locker room after they talk about the upcoming game. By staying focused on their goal – to play for each other – they connect on a deeper level, working together to win.

“Everything falls into place, and we get (winning) for free,” Platt said.

First-year Maria Horning agrees with Platt’s sentiment. “It feels great to be undefeated, but we’re taking it one game at a time,” she said.

This weekend, Oct. 3 to Oct. 4, the team will head to Augustana College in Chicago to play more nationally-ranked teams.

They will play DeSales, last year’s MAC champions, on Oct. 23, and York, for the second time, on Oct. 25.

Many hard games lie ahead for Eastern’s volleyball team. But if they meet those games with the same spirit and heart that they have used in their previous matches, they will be sure to succeed, no matter what the final score.

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