■ Editor’s Note: This is the ninth in a 10-part series looking back at the biggest athletic stories at Wiley College during the 2018-19 school year.
After finishing the regular season as the 2018 Red River Athletic Conference co-champions, the Wiley College volleyball team entered the conference tournament where it came away with an outright conference championship, thanks to a four-set victory over Huston-Tillotson.
“It was a great moment for Wiley College as a whole,” Wiley head volleyball coach Mike MacNeill, the conference tournament coach of the year, said.
“It’s a testament to the work these young ladies put in all year and the commitment they put into the program and to being the best versions of themselves.”
MacNeill said there were several key factors that contributed to the team’s success.
“One of the things that helped us throughout the year was buying into each other and then really emphasizing being the best version of yourself every day,” he said.
“There’s a new culture that we’ve established here in just surrounding yourself with great student athletes who are both athletically and academically successful and have a top GPA in the athletic department and then also just people who challenge them on and off the court to be their best.”
Wiley’s 2018 title was the Lady Wildcats’ second conference tournament title and first since 2008. The team also earned 20 wins for the first time in five years.
The Lady Wildcats went on to play in the national tournament at Oklahoma City University where their season came to an end with an early exit.
Their next season will being at that same location in Oklahoma City on Aug. 23 in tournament play. Monday will be the team’s first day of practice.