Season ends for Women’s Volleyball NSAA Conference Champions


The women hoist the conference trophy for the fourth straight year

Noah Nelson, Sports Editor

Viterbo Women’s Volleyball has continued to dominate the North Star Athletic Conference, defeating Bellevue to win their fourth straight conference tournament. After the regular season, Viterbo shared the conference title with Bellevue, but the V-Hawks proved themselves yet again at the conference event. With this victory, the women returned to NAIA Nationals where they looked to succeed on the biggest stage. 

In the leadup to the conference tournament, the women played in a flurry of conference games, winning handily against Waldorf, Presentation, Mayville State, Dickenson State, and Valley City State. Dakota State was the only conference opponent to take two sets against the women during this stretch, but they did not have the firepower to win the fifth set, falling to the V-Hawks 15-5.  

On Nov. 5, the women faced ranked Bellevue to either be the sole conference champions or co-champions for the regular season. The women had to settle for regular season co-champions with Bellevue. However, there was still the postseason conference tournament to decide the overall winner of the NSAA.  

The Women’s Volleyball’s postseason began on Nov. 11 against Mayeville State. The V-Hawks had previously beaten them twice in the regular season 3-0, and 3-1. This time, Mayeville came out strong, taking Viterbo to 28 points, but Viterbo closed them out and coasted the rest of the match to an easy 3-0 victory, only dropping one set all season to Mayeville State.  

The real test came the following day in a rematch with Bellevue. Having split the regular season matchups, it was the truest test of merit for the team yet. And in the biggest match of the season, the women delivered. The first and second sets were both won narrowly by Viterbo, 25-23 in both. The third set was a comeback set for Bellevue; they won 25-17, but the V-Hawks ended it in the fourth. They held the lead early and let Bellevue back into the game, but at 24-23 Viterbo, Bellevue served it out of bounds and Viterbo was named NSAA Champions for the fourth consecutive year. 

On Nov. 19, Viterbo’s first match of the NAIA National Tournament was held against Point Park University. Point Park came to La Crosse from Pittsburgh, PA, but their trip was short-lived. Viterbo closed the match convincingly in three sets, winning 25-18, 25-18, 25-20. After winning this match, the V-Hawks advanced to the final site in Sioux City, IA. 

Viterbo was pooled with Columbia and Missouri Baptist. Missouri Baptist was ranked fourth in the nation prior to nationals, and Columbia was the most experienced team at the tournament, making their 28th appearance at the event.  

Viterbo’s first match came against Columbia on Dec. 1. The teams split the first two sets, Columbia won the third, and the match was over in the fourth. Viterbo had a 24-22 lead, but Columbia won four straight points to win and advance to the final bracket.  

After Columbia’s advancement, Missouri Baptist would be the team’s final opponent of the season. On Dec.. 2, Viterbo defeated Missouri Baptist convincingly, 3-0, and despite not advancing from their pool, they ended the season on a high note. They became the fourteenth team in Viterbo history to have 30 wins in a season. 

As the season comes to a close, it is clear that the Viterbo Women’s Volleyball Team has been a dominant force over the better part of the last decade. Since 2012, the team has made all but one NAIA National Tournament and has made the Final Four five times. With these past results, and yet another conference championship, Viterbo University has proven to be a perennial powerhouse in Women’s Volleyball.