Warrior volleyball caps regular season with clean sweep over Rams

Sean Cordy

The Warriors left their emotions on the court Tuesday as 15 seniors played their final game in the Waukee gym. Taking on Southeast Polk (4-20) for the third time this season, Waukee (11-15) won in shutout fashion 3-0.

Not only was it the third win against the Rams this year, it also marked the 11th consecutive win over the conference rival.

"I think the emotions of Senior Night, the emotions of it being the end of the (regular) season kind of rolling into the whole season the girls finally connected at the right time with their setters," head coach Candice Palea said. "I think we were able to be a lot more terminal than we were at the beginning of the season."

Waukee's Ainsley Schlicher in action on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Adding to the emotion of the night, the fans and crowd ramped up their excitement when Ainsley Schlicher entered the game to record one of the final points of the season to secure the win. The senior has been out all season following surgery for a previous injury and was only recently cleared to participate, ending in a cathartic celebration with the rest of the team.

Waukee players celebrate during the team's home win over Southeast Polk on Oct. 13.

While the team said farewell to its home floor, the ride isn't over for the Warriors just yet. Waukee takes on the J-Hawks on Thursday, Oct. 22 in Urbandale in the regional semifinal round. The two have split action so far in two meetings, with Waukee holding the advantage in the most recent affair over the previous weekend.

Palea said despite the team letting its grip slip with double-digit leads, she believes the team is exactly where they need to be to keep the season alive in spite of the challenges seen throughout the year.

"It was a rollercoaster ride. A lot of the girls haven't played at the varsity level consistently in a game," Palea said. "So just getting the girls familiar with them, trying to get a new setter involved, I'm proud of them at the moment that we're at now. We're where we want to be as far as connecting and just team camaraderie. It's a beautiful thing to be where we are at, at this time of the season."

Kori Knox with a return for the Warriors on Tuesday, Oct. 13.