By Alyssa Richardson
With the beginning of a new school year, the Lady Builders volleyball team is preparing for the start of a brand new season. Looking to build on their 4-25 overall record from last year, the team welcomes 11 newcomers and 12 returning players.
With a mix of fresh faces and veteran players, Donnie Wallace, head coach, is excited for the possibilities this team brings. “I’m most looking forward to seeing how good we can be, there is a lot of potential and I’m curious to see how far we can take it.”
Wallace was a new coach to the volleyball program last year and he hopes to carry over some of his experiences to this season. “I know what to expect from the other coaches in the conference now and how the other teams operate. It has helped me to prepare more,” said Wallace.
With so many new players Wallace will rely heavily on his returning players to help the freshman adjust and learn how the program operates.
Kaley Rodriguez, senior defensive specialist, will be a leader for the new players on and off the court. “I am looking forward to playing my last season of volleyball. We have a great group of freshman girls and I can’t wait to teach them what Southwestern volleyball is all about,” said Rodriguez.
The players and coaches are focusing on bettering the program and themselves this season. “We would like to finish in the top half of the league, but I think we can do better than that. We want to be better than average,” said Wallace.
The upperclassman also has their sights set on bettering their record. “We are going to have a competitive league in the KCAC this season but we are ready for the challenge. We have a lot to prove and we will bring our ‘A’ game to prove pre-season polls wrong,” said Rodriguez.
With so many new faces this year, the team has made a point to do team bonding on and off the court. Amongst the newcomers is Jacqueline Erlanson, freshman setter, who joins the Lady Builders with hope and confidence. “As a team we eat lunch and dinner together everyday and last week we went paintballing, so we do a lot of bonding.”
The team will start their season off at 6 p.m. Aug. 28 in Haviland at Barclay College.
The Lady Builders enter this season full of determination and optimism. “I feel this season is different than others because we have positive energy with new players. Volleyball is a game of emotions and we have to play our hearts out in order to win,” said Rodriguez.
Alyssa Richardson is a sophomore majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.