Women’s volleyball kicks off season 

Written By Luke Mongelli

Women’s Volleyball looks to stay atop rankings under third year head coach Bridget Bielich and second year assistant coach Destiny Tucker.

The team was placed in the fourth spot in the River States Conference division, and sits on top of the east division for the RSC.

Junior Ashley Castelli, Libero, thinks that veteran coach Bielich will confidently lead the team to victory this season, along with developing the team proficiently with the new lineup changes. 

Women’s Volleyball have reached the NAIA national tournament four times since 2011, also including a three-year streak of three years in a row from 2014 to 2016. 

“Coach B brings a lot to the table. I think one of her strong suits is that she knows the game very well,” Castelli said. “Her volleyball IQ is very broad which helps us players pinpoint what we need to fix and improve upon to become better players.”

The volleyball team is also looking at some major lineup changes due to the incoming freshmen, and last years departing seniors. 

“We had a great group of seniors leave us last year but our newcomers didn’t skip a beat. And they fit right in with the team and are doing great so I’ve been very excited for this season,” Castelli said.”This year is definitely going to be a much different lineup but I think our team is gonna do very well with it. We have lots of returning hitters but we have all new setters so you will see some new faces on the court this year,” Castelli said. Castelli also added that team flow will not be interrupted because of the changes.

“We have very smart and aggressive players in all positions, which is gonna leave us with a very well rounded team,” Castelli said. “This year, even with our past seniors leaving, I think we have the best chemistry we have had so far. Everyone on the team gets along great with one another and wants to make their teammates better. We have a great group of girls and it feels like we have been playing together our whole lives,” Castelli said.

Like all things this season, this season will be altered by Covid-19, but Castelli thinks the extra time away will be beneficial to the team. 

“This year we have several less games due to COVID-19 which has given us a much longer preseason, but I think the extra practice time before our first match was a good thing for us especially because we had all of our setters graduate last year so we have had more time to build better connections between our hitters and new setters,” Castelli said.

Women’s Volleyball will have their first game on Friday, September 18, facing off against Indiana University Kokomo.