Volleyball full of optimism after record setting year
Coming off their first tournament win, Spartans hungry for more success
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The Case Western Reserve University Spartans Women’s Volleyball team put up their best record since the start of the millennium last season. Their historic season included the team’s second ever trip to the NCAA tournament and their first ever tournament victory.
In 2015, they won 25 games and lost only eight. In addition, the team went 5-2 in the University Athletic Association (UAA), good enough for third place. It’s the best finish they have had since 1997, a year in which many of our new students and even second-year students were born.
That is a tough year to follow up on, but this year’s team is confident it can continue the winning trend. Though the team lost five excellent players to graduation, athletes with plenty of experience are still on the team. Eight members of last year’s squad is returning, three of whom were in the starting lineup in 2015.
The combination of fourth-year outside hitter Marian Barton and fourth-year middle hitter Kayla Pfaff has the team very optimistic about its offensive prowess. While the loss of five starting players will definitely have a large impact on the way this group plays on the court, the rest of the team is ready to step up and keep things going.
Last year’s first-year students that were on the team looked promising, and as they enter their second year on the team, the promise should be fulfilled. Two of those second-years are setter Shannon Carroll and defensive specialist Karina Bondelid. Carroll led the team by a wide margin with 734 assists last season and Bondelid finished second on the team with 25 service aces. Both will look to continue to be important parts of the team’s starting rotation.
The team is looking at facing off against tough UAA teams and is up for the challenge. Making it into the NCAA tournament is well within reach and a top priority for this year’s troupe, and 15-year veteran Head Coach Karen Farrell believes that with the nine new players on this year’s roster, it is very possible for the team to succeed.
This team is playing in the Land of Champions this year, and they have every reason to believe that they could add to this great city’s success. Prepare for a fun season, and make sure to show up to some games this season to watch this winning powerhouse in action. The team’s first home match comes on Sept. 7 when they host John Carroll University at Horsburgh Gymnasium.