The 2016 Eagles volleyball team will be pressed to replace the majority of kills, digs, blocks and serving aces from the 2015 season. The Eagles have six returning upperclassmen along with four new players.
"While we appreciated the effort of those who graduated in 2015 or were unable to return, we are excited about the opportunity to mold another winning team in 2016. Our roster will be improved in terms of height and with the returners we hope to remain competitive in the MCC Conference and in NCCAA region play," noted coach Lanny Nihart.
Returning is senior captain Alyssa Larson. Larson will be expected to hold down her front row line at middle hitter. "Alyssa is going to give us much needed leadership both on and off the court. Her work ethic and steadiness will be a great example to her teammates. However, Alyssa will be challenged to increase her personal production in hitting and blocking," stated Nihart.
Other returners include junior back row specialist Shannon Steffen, junior setter Emilie Morton, sophomore right side Charity Appell, sophomore outside hitter Samantha Betz, and sophomore right side Karis Giegerich. "Our returning upperclassmen will be a vital part of our team's core. Like Alyssa, each will need to increase production given they will receive additional playing time. It will be fun to see how they mature throughout the season," noted Nihart.
"Our season begins with an away contest followed by the Spikefest Tournament which in our pool includes NCCAA national tournament teams Ozark Christian College and Dallas Christian University! Our coaching staff will be challenged to help our young team gain the maturity needed to compete with the 2016 schedule demands. With a small roster, injuries could also be a detriment to gaining ground during the season," quoted Nihart.