Young volleyball team aims to improve on last season
August 25, 2006 —
The volleyball team is looking to rebound from a disappointing 2005 as it returns a talented core of players from last year's squad.
A season ago, the young Cardinals struggled with their consistency, going 8-23 overall with only two conference victories. This year, says fourth-year head coach Will Stanton, that same group has another year of experience and is looking to turn the team's youthful enthusiasm into a potential he knows is there.
"The team is developing some goals for this season," Stanton says, "but those are just to help us measure our improvement. Our real goal is to keep getting better every day and work to become the best team that we can be."
Stanton also says the team is expecting big things from a number of its younger players, particularly the juniors. Amy Howard, Danielle Dryer, and Amanda Jablonski all return this year after seeing significant playing time last season while sophomores Sarah Redoute and Kelsey Rabish are currently making a case for themselves with their good play.
"We struggled with our consistency (last season), and had trouble closing out games that we could have won," Stanton says. "This conference is so strong that there is not much sympathy for the young or inexperienced player, let alone a whole team."
The strong conference could prove to be the team's biggest obstacle. Ferris State, Northwood, and Hillsdale will all field tough teams while Grand Valley State is the defending national champion.
Stanton says the team will need to feed off its good chemistry. "Our team unity and closeness would have to be one of our greatest strengths," he says. "There is a very good camaraderie and personality to the group that makes it enjoyable to come in and work hard everyday. That should really help us grow and improve over the season."