Augustana volleyball defeated Southwest Minnesota State University 3-1 on Nov. 2 to stay in contention for the NSIC tournament, but the win wasn’t the only goal for the team that night.
The team chose to take a pledge and join the fight for equality through Vollequality. The pledge goes as follows: “We are the volleyball community who demands equality among all persons. We reject racism, homophobia and discrimination in any form. The Vollequality symbol represents our stance on these social issues. By taking our pledge and then posting the symbol, you are letting others know that they can be safe with you and that you have taken action in our fight for equality.”
“It’s an organization that started right after George Floyd was murdered,” coach Jennifer Jacobs said. “It’s a matter that we take very seriously and really believe in. It’s about being able to bring your own self to the table, and we just wanted to make sure to represent them.”
Vollequality now has 282 total pledges on their website, one of them being senior Kelsey Ruff.
“The Vollequality organization means a lot to me and the world of volleyball as we are pledging to stand up against racism, homophobia and any kind of discrimination starting with our sport,” Ruff said. “Our team’s goal for promoting it is to show the role volleyball is trying to play in this fight for equality and that we pledge as a team to do the same in our community using the impact our sport can have.”
On the court, despite falling in the first set 25-12, the Vikings would go on to win the next three sets to defeat its second-ranked opponent this season.
The second set was even at 11 when a kill from senior Payton Rosendahl gave Augustana the lead. They would hold that lead for the rest of the set to tie the game.
Trailing 9-5 in the third set, Augustana went on the biggest run of the game, scoring eight straight points to take a 13-9 lead that they would ride to a 2-1 advantage. Four kills from junior Maddy Guetter and a service ace from senior Grace Haberland highlighted the run.
The Mustangs held close for the start of the fourth set, but Augustana used another run to stretch their lead. The Vikings rattled off five straight points, with two more kills from Guetter that made it a 14-8 Viking lead.
The Vikings would eventually take the fourth set by a score of 25-19 to win the match.
“I think they showed a lot of grit and worked it out,” Jacobs said. “Once we get going, we’re tough to stop, too.”
After two more wins over the weekend, the Vikings now sit at 17-9 overall and 12-6 in the NSIC. They are in sixth place in the conference with two more games to play. The top eight teams in the conference make the tournament.
The final two games of the year will take place in the Elmen Center on Nov. 12 and 13. The Vikings will take on Minnesota Duluth Friday at 6 p.m, then St. Cloud State Saturday at 5 p.m.