Halloween night turned out to be more trick than treat for the Emerson women's volleyball team. Instead of getting candy, the Lions saw their season end after an uninspired loss in the first round of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) playoffs.
Emerson was swept, three games to none, by fourth-seeded Johnson and Wales University. The team finished with an overall record of 9-13. Emerson also earned a 7-4 record in the conference, which was slightly better than last year's mark of 6-5 in the GNAC.
The Lions, who finished with the same overall record as last year, came into the season hoping for a better result with all of their starting players from last season returning this year. Alex Porteshawver, a senior captain majoring in marketing communication, believed that the team expected good things this year.
"We always have a lot of potential but this year especially because we had a lot of returning players," she said. "We had every starting player from last year returning."
Next season, the team brings back five juniors and one sophomore. With such a large group of young talent, the team appears ready to make improvements and get past the first round of the GNAC tournament. With more recruits being tempted to Emerson due to the new gym, an appearance in the GNAC championship and an NCAA appearance may not be out of the question for the Lions.
Porteshawver, who played for three years at Emerson and was a captain both her junior and senior years, said that this season, the team struggled to find the right mindset going into games.
"Our coach always talks about our game versus Rivier last year because we took it to five games," Porteshawver said. "We ended up losing 18-16, but it was so fun."
This year, however, she thought there could have been more joy brought to the game.
"There were glimpses of that this season and when we played like that it was so fun because we are really good," she said. "But I don't feel like that happened enough this year."