The bar is being set high for the UW-Eau Claire women's volleyball team as they start their season this Friday. The Blugolds are ranked 13th in Division 3 heading into this weekend's Labor Day Classic. Rankings and expectations are nothing new for Eau Claire after five straight trips to the NCAA tournament. What is changing are the Blugolds goals, as coach Kim Wudi's squad wants to win the WIAC and make a deep run into the post-season.
Kim Wudi/UW-Eau Claire Volleyball Head Coach says, "It feels different. We've got six seniors. They've been to the pinnacle. They've won conferences, they've been to the NCAA, but now to take that next step, to get to the Elite Eight and get out of our regional, that's our goal."
Emily Zupon/Blugolds Senior Outside Hitter says, "We're not afraid to put it all out there every match. Last year when we did that, we beat the number one team in the country. When we can put it all out there and just play for each other, great things happen."
Getting back to the playoff is the focus for the UW-Eau Claire women's soccer team this fall. A 1-0 loss in last year's WIAC title game ended a string of four straight NCAA appearances, but the Blugolds only graduated three players from last year. Eau Claire's also confident playing a more aggressive style, one they were still figuring out last season.
Andrea Hull/Blugolds Senior Defender says, "The new system, it definitely allows us to feel more comfortable after playing it for a year. We've got a strong group of leaders in our senior and junior class, and our sophomores did a great job stepping it up in the off season."
Sean Yengo/UW-Eau Claire Women's Soccer Head Coach says, "We had an incredible spring practice season. It's probably one of the best I've seen in my 14 years here. Part of it was the motivation from a disappointment of last year's season. I think it certainly has a sour taste in our mouths."