The women’s volleyball team this season is dominated by the multiple first-years that are successfully taking the court and leading the team to a 6-2 record in their first eight games. Head Coach Kyle Walton starts approximately six to seven first years, and two to three upperclassmen in a game.
“They are an athletic bunch of kids but getting them to the pace of the college game has been our early season struggle,” said Walton, “We are a much better volleyball team than we have been in the past we just have to get some more experience under their belts as soon as possible.”
Walton specifically designed the preseason in order to train the newcomers to the speed of the college game and get them up to pace. The team’s preseason is taking place majorly on the road, which Walton planned in order to prepare the first-years for the upcoming regular season.
“We will play the majority of our preseason schedule on the road and that was by design. I wanted the younger kids to learn how to travel as well as play in the same day,” said Walton, “Staying away from their families and traveling by themselves is always a crazy experience for the first time so we wanted to get them accustomed to road travel quickly.
First-year setter Hannah Talkers, pictured above, has already won HCAC Offensive player of the week in the first week of preseason. Even as a first-year, Walton expects great things from her in the coming years.
“Hannah has been a bright spot for us and really keeps our team going. She is a very high level setter that we will depend on most of the season,” said Walton.
While the offense has been successful with the help of Talkers, the offense is aided by the support of the defense, led by first-year middle blocker Hannah Graff.
“She has been very dynamic on the offensive side of the ball and really has allowed us to keep our offense spread out,” said Walton.
Women’s volleyball is off to a great start to their preseason and Walton sees tremendous ability to continue improving as the first years become acclimated to the speed of the college game. This upcoming weekend, the women are playing in Atlanta at the Emory Invitational against one of the top five teams in the nation.