Lady Eagles Launching 2010 Campaign
Coming off a 26-14 record last season, expectations are high for the Lady Eagles volleyball team. Coach Eric Newell and the Williams Baptist College volleyball squad have practiced for two weeks in preparation for their upcoming season.
The volleyball Eagles kicked the season Saturday, Aug. 28th, at Mid-Continent University sweeping in a doubleheader win. The first home match for will be Thursday, September 2nd, against Philander Smith College.
Last year’s squad featured five seniors who started for four straight years. Newell noted, “They were a special group of players that cannot be replaced in one year.”
Ten out of the 16 players are new for the 2010 squad. “This group has come with great attitudes and is working hard. Anytime you lose a lot of players it can be frustrating early on but we will figure ourselves out,”Newell said.
Some strengths of this year’s squad will be their athleticism and defense. Newell commented,“Our main strength is our defense and we are going to have to rely on that to win in the American Midwest Conference.” He explained that they do not have a lot of height but they “will make up for it by being scrappy and aggressive on defense.”
Some newcomers that will be needed to win this season will be junior college transfers Hailey Motley, Kelsey Davault, and Katie Thomas. Motley is from Mineral Area College and is a middle hitter. Davault is also from Mineral Area College and led the NJCCA in digs per game last season. Thomas is from Seward County Community College.
Freshman Makenna Weidhower of Denton, Tex.,is a setter who has stood out in pre-season. Newell said, “The setter is like the quarterback of the team and Makenna is very confident as a setter.”
Some key returners for the Eagles will be Caitlin Wakefield, Bailey Stanley, and Chelsey Pollite. In describing Wakefield, Newell commented, “When you look at her warming up you don’t know what to expect. She is a workhorse and a hard worker. We are going to rely on her to wear her arm out.”
Stanley is an outside hitter with a very powerful arm who had a good junior year. Newell described Pollite as “tremendous passer, great attitude, and great worker. Everyone enjoys being around her. When someone is pleasant and good that is a great combination.”
Some goals for this season are to get better and build off the previous years’ success. The past three seasons the Eagles have averaged 25 wins per season. “If we can get better everyday, I think we have the skilled players and athleticism to make some noise in our conference,” Newell said.
This years non-conference opponents features a number of NAIA and NCAA Division III opponents. Opponents such as Lyon College (NAIA), Mid-Continent (NAIA), Hendrix (NCAA Div IIII), and Rhoades (NCAA Div III) are all on the schedule. Newell also points out that the Eagles have been very successful versus NCAA opponents over the past few seasons.
The Eagles won their first match against Mid-Continent University and are 2-0 on
the season. The first home match for the Eagles will be September 2nd against Philander
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