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Trojans kept fighting till the end

Submitted by Brian Gregory on January 30, 2015 – 2:17 pmNo Comment

The 2014 UALR Trojans volleyball team made a run for the ages this past year. It was a season that will be remembered for a long time by those who followed the team. The team accomplished a lot this year, a 25 match-winning streak, an undefeated conference season, and a first ever victory in the NCAA Volleyball Tournament. At the end of the season, UALR ranked 24th in the coaches poll and 29th in the RPI rankings. This was their highest season ending ranking ever. Head coach Van Compton spoke as someone still trying to process the magnitude of the season.

“You are always happy to win,” Compton said. “But your focus is always to win the next match.”

For Compton, it will be a season that will mean a lot more as the years go by when she reflects on all they have achieved. This was UALR’s first time to ever win a NCAA Tournament game, and Compton was proud of the fact that her team was two points away from a sweet 16 birth.

“A lot of times we would be a real low seed and we would play a high seed, usually a number one seed. While Kansas was ranked, our team was much better prepared to play against them,” Compton said.

They will also be losing three incredible seniors: Edina Begic, Adisa Hodzic and Capri Rino. Compton spoke highly about all three of them.

“Adisa and Capri were both solid, hardworking team players who had the same team mindset and the same goals as everyone else. But Edina, she is a superstar, and she is without a doubt the best player to come to UALR,” Compton said.

In any case, she will have a good nucleus with four starters coming back, two outstanding players, Marina Avram and Stephanie Phillips, and hopefully a good recruiting class that will continue to build off their success of last season.

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