In order to win at the highest level in college sports, fostering a deep connection among teammates is a must. To say that the players on the Wheeling Jesuit volleyball team understand that would be an understatement.
They’re more than just teammates; they are a family.
“We’re all the best of friends,” junior Kayce Krucki said. “Every single day you will see us with each other.”
“I’m sorry to my future husband because I’m going to have a lot of bridesmaids,” junior Haley Kindall said.
Those bridesmaids, like Kindall, will stand as champions. The Cardinals knocked off Palm Beach Atlantic in three sets on Saturday to win 2015 Division II Women’s Volleyball’s national championship.
DS6Q488712/12/15; Tampa, Fla.; NCAA Division II Volleyball Championships hosted by University of Tampa. Championship Match. Palm Beach Atlantic vs. Wheeling Jesuit.Posted by Wheeling Jesuit University on Saturday, December 12, 2015
The Cardinals’ chemistry is evident out on the court, both in their play and in their interactions with each other.
“Before the games you’ll notice that we’re laughing all the time because we wouldn’t want to be with anyone else,” Kindall said.
“We work for each other and not for ourselves,” Krucki said. “That’s what I think everyone should remember about this team.”
What people will also remember about this team is one of the most impressive tournament runs in recent memory. The Cardinals dropped only one set during the entire tournament.
This dominant run came from a Wheeling Jesuit team that began the season 2-2. But, as the season progressed, the players became closer and the wins started to pile up. The Cardinals finished the season with a 39-4 record and only lost two sets total in their final 12 matches.
“It’s been an amazing experience for me to watch this team grow and to become as close as they are,” coach Christy Benner said.
Already with a strong bond amongst each other, the 2015 Wheeling Jesuit Cardinals will always be forever bonded by becoming the first team in program history to win a national championship.
“It’s just awesome to complete such an awesome thing with your best friends,” Kindall said.