What makes college sports so great is the passion with which they are played, as well as the passion that the fans have for their teams.
Never has a team’s passion been so evident than in the volleyball and football teams’ games on Saturday.
In Saturday’s volleyball match, the Wildcats had every reason to just pack it in. Texas A&M entered the match in third place in the Big 12 Conference and had already swept the Wildcats in their previous matchup.
To make things worse, All-American candidate Kaitlynn Pelger went down on the very first play of match with an injury.
The Wildcats struggled after her injury as they lost both of the first two sets, each by double digits.
What happened next is what makes college sports so great. The Wildcats were able to battle back against the talented Aggies and win the next three sets and the match, a feat that seemed almost impossible an hour earlier.
Sophomore Courtney Traxson took over when Pelger went out and had the match of her career with 13 kills, a performance that head coach Suzie Fritz said was vital to the team’s victory on Saturday.
“I think Courtney Traxson was the big difference for us,” Fritz said. “We felt that was an area we needed to attack them and we gave her some balls to hit and she did a great job.”
Down in Stillwater, Okla., the Wildcat football team was getting ready to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
The Cowboys entered the game ranked No. 3 in the country and a three-touchdown favorite over the Wildcats.
Coming off a 58-17 loss to Oklahoma, the experts gave the Wildcats no chance against the high-powered Cowboys’ offense.
After a quick 14-0 start, it appeared that the Cowboys were well on their way to blowout victory.
However, the Wildcats would not go away easily and went on to score the next 24 points to take a 10-point lead.
The rest of the game was a back and forth battle as the Wildcats had the ball at the 5-yard line with one second left and a chance to tie the game. Collin Klein’s pass fell to the ground, giving the Cowboys a 52-45 victory.
Afterwards, in the press conference, the players were visibily upset about the game, and this was where the passion and pride that they have for their sport could be seen.
All of these athletes prepare throughout the week for their game or match. When teams are unable to go out and get a victory, it hurts them a lot.
We, as fans, get excited or upset depending on the outcome, but we never truly understand the reaction of the players.
Both of these teams are in great shape at this point in the season. The volleyball team is 17-8 on the season and receiving votes in the latest volleyball rankings. The football team is 7-2 and is still ranked No. 14 in the last Bowl Championship Series standings.
The volleyball team has a great opportunity to get back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008, while the football team has an opportunity to win 10 games in a season for the first time since 2003.
Saturday was an exciting sports day as a Wildcats fan, and it was because of the effort and passion that the teams put on the playing fields.