Athlete of the Week: Blugolds Volleyball

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The 15th ranked team in Division III, the UW-Eau Claire volleyball team is off to their best start since the 2006-07 season. The team is our Osseo Automotive Athlete of the Week. SportScene 13’s Neil Hebert has the story.

“We’re really rollin’ right now,” Kim Wudi said of her 16-1 Blugolds.

“This is probably the best start and most consistent we’ve been for a couple years, I’d say,” Madison Surprise, the Blugolds’ senior setter who’s tallied over 2,000 assists in her 4-year career, said. “We’ve played some really good teams, some ranked teams, too. We’ve been doing a really good job of staying consistent, even though we’ve been on the road.”

The cohesion of the team comes from each and every person on the roster, no matter the role.

“I think it comes down to accountability,” senior outside hitter, Jessica Coyne, said. “We really have good relationships with everyone. We’re not afraid to tell each other how it is. We support each other, but we’re definitely going to keep each other accountable no matter if it’s on the court or off the court.

“Everybody seems like they’re on board and we seem to have the same mindset; even if people are on the bench, we know that our roles can change at any given time, so everybody is always ready to go,” Surprise said.

The Blugolds have won 11 straight and haven’t dropped a set in 7 matches. Head coach, Kim Wudi, says it’s all about the mindset going in to every matchup.

“I’m really impressed with how mentally tough we’ve been,” Wudi said. “It’s been a real key to the win streak that we’ve got going, but being able to win 3-0 in most of those matches, it’s just been a testament to the way the girls have come prepared every day. They don’t want to lose. Sometimes, you gotta want to win, but you also gotta hate to lose. This group hates to lose.”

They’re heading into a tough part of their schedule with #8 University of Chicago on the horizon, but the Blugolds philosophy is what they’re leaning on to be successful going forward.

“Scoring fast and being the team to beat: being the team that’s always the loudest and most competitive out on the floor,” Surprise said.