Raiders pillage Emerson

In the end, there was no championship, no victory celebration, no trophy-but there weren't many regrets either.,”The Emerson College women's volleyball season ended last Wednesday with a loss to Rivier College in the quarterfinals of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference playoff tournament.

In the end, there was no championship, no victory celebration, no trophy-but there weren't many regrets either.

"It was a very good building year," said junior Co-Captain Kelly Hogan. "We were all new to each other. We had to get used to each other playing different positions."

Her teammate and fellow junior Co-Captain Alex Porteshawver agreed, and said she is looking forward to the future.

"I think it was a very successful season," Porteshawver said. "We had a young team and a first-year coach. Next year's going to be amazing."

It is a sentiment that seems to be shared by the whole team. There is a certain confidence about the players and they do not lack optimism.

"There's a really strong possibility that we take the conference next year," Hogan said. "We could have the strongest team in the conference."

This may seem a bit farfetched coming from a squad that was just bounced from the playoffs, but this group has proven doubters wrong before.

They started off the season losing three of their first four matches and, for a while, things did not get much better. A 3-0 loss to MIT in mid-September dropped them three games under .500. There was a lack of chemistry on the court and it showed-their record stood at 6-9 on Sept. 25. Then, things began to turn around.

The team reeled off four straight wins to get above .500 for the first time all season on Oct. 11 and it seemed like something just clicked. They got as high as three games (13-10) before tough losses dropped them to an even 13-13 record for the regular season.

Although the playoff loss dropped their final record to 13-14, the fashion in which they lost provided them with reason to be confident. Rivier beat them three games to two and the score of the final game was 18-16.

"We played amazing," Porteshawver said. "We played the best we played all year. We were very confident going into the match. We weren't nervous at all."

Head Coach Ann Miklus agreed, saying that her squad played excellently.

"We might not have taken the match but we took something out of it," she said. "We played unbelievable."

There is even further reason for the confidence the players exude. Barring unforeseen circumstances, every member of the squad will be eligible to return next season. There were no seniors this year.

The theory is that the growing pains endured this year will pay off next year in a more cohesive team.

"We have a lot of potential, a lot of very talented players," Porteshawver said. "We'll be a lot better."