Volleyball continues to build up youth

Now+graduating+Kiah+Jones+%2813%29+and+her+teammate+going+up+for+a+block+during+a+game.
Now graduating Kiah Jones (13) and her teammate going up for a block during a game.

Now graduating Kiah Jones (13) and her teammate going up for a block during a game.

Now graduating Kiah Jones (13) and her teammate going up for a block during a game.

Alanna Inzunza, Staff Reporter

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The CWU volleyball team consisted of several younger players last year, moving forward the team hopes with the experience they’ve gained this past season they can increase the areas that need improvement.

During their offseason the team has worked on improving their offensive and defensive. They’ve really focused on things offensively that they’ll think will help them in the future to win more games.

“Defensively we wanted to get more efficient on blocking, even though we led the country in blocks last year we were still trying to improve on that,” head coach Mario Andaya said. “There are some key things we’re working on this offseason and I think we were pretty successful in that.”

The team has also worked on their bond. Bonding as a team is important for their chemistry on the court. The team took a trip overseas to Italy over spring break. The trip showed them what they had to learn as a team. They got a good understanding on what they will have to do to carry that bond over the summer into the fall season. Andaya believes the current team having a good bond with be crucial on how their new teammates will fit in when they arrive.

“We have six incoming freshman and so we really have to get a good handle on our team identity so those youth coming in will be able to conform right away and blend in with our team chemistry,” Andaya said.

Just like having new team members, the team has very important returners. Coming back for her senior year Sabrina Wheelhouse is an all conference player who is a key player for the team. Madison Weg and Shelby Mauritson are both coming back for their junior year. These three upperclassmen who have seen significant playing time throughout the season. Both Sarah Joffs and Maggie Mctaggart were redshirt freshman who Andaya feels like will start to step into big roles. He sees looking forward to seeing the impact they will have on the team this season.

The team has a long road this season. They will be competing in preseason tournaments in Tampa and will be hosting a tournament against the west coast teams. These preseason tournaments will be very important for their standings during their season. While during their season they will be competing against very good teams.

“Alaska Anchorage is defending conference champions and they won runner up in the national championship game last year so they are probably going to be the team to beat but Western Washington was always good. Northwest Nazarene will be very good,” Andaya said. “And I suspect we’ll be right up there if we can take it upon the added time and we make sure we’re taking care of who’s infant of us.”

Andaya believes if they focus on each game rather than how other teams are doing they will have a better chance at winning games. 

“This is going to sound cliche but we have to really stay disciplined on what’s right in front of us. If we look past that or we’re not motivated to play who’s directly in front of us again the season is going to fly by like that so just staying at the task at hand,” Andaya said. “Taking one point at a time and really learning how to handle the present and then figure out stuff after that.”

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Volleyball continues to build up youth