According to team captain Marie Madaras, the group’s determination and skill carried them to much-deserved victory.
“I cannot say we expected Michigan in the finals, but whoever it was, we were ready to dominate,” Madaras said. “The tournament proved to be a little more of a challenge than we would have liked, but we made it to the finals and proved why we were seeded first.”
Although four key members battled injuries to participate in the tournament, first-year team member Whitney Jones said the squad’s resolve to win led them through to the championship.
“We have some really amazing players on the team and it was their dedication to the team that pulled us through despite injuries,” Jones said. “You have to want it to win, and we definitely wanted it.”
Jones said the high level of competition tested the squad’s skills and abilities.
“No game was easy. The team had to stay focused and work hard for every win,” Jones said. “Some games were more challenging than others but I felt like as far as the fitness and team collaboration were concerned we were very well-prepared and that’s what got us through the tougher games.”
The Burning Skirts savored the victory after defeating Michigan 13-9 in the final round, Madaras said.
“It is still somewhat unreal that we won; we worked hard this year and we achieved our ultimate goal,” said Madaras. “We celebrated as true UCSB students should.”
Despite roster changes, Madaras said next year’s team could earn yet another championship.
“As for the future, we have strong returning players but we are losing a few key players as well,” Madaras said. “Our program is still holding strong and I am confident that next year’s team will make it to nationals once again.”