Wallace and Bradbury ready for final season

Sean Hastings, Assistant Sports Editor

Seniors Stephanie Wallace and Marah Bradbury are heading into their final season as captains of the Eastern Volleyball team.

Senior libero Stephanie Wallace sends the ball up during a game on Oct. 4, 2014.

Jason Howell
Senior libero Stephanie Wallace sends the ball up during a game on Oct. 4, 2014.

Wallace is the team’s libero. Wallace set the record for 583 digs in the 2014 season. She heads into the season seventh overall in Eastern history with 1,391 total digs.

Bradbury is one of the setters on the team. She had a single-season best 1,378 assists in 2014, which ranked second in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Eastern volleyball Coach Sam Wolinski praises their work ethic and said it shows on the court. She also said that Bradbury is the “QB” of the front row, and Wallace is the “QB” of the back row.

“They’re two very strong players,” Wolinski said. “Wally (Wallace) will finish up as the all-time career digs leader here at EIU and that’s pretty awesome. I think she’s one of the best in the OVC.”

She has the same praise for Bradbury who is also making a name for herself in the EIU record books.

“Marah’s going to finish in the top three probably for all-time career for sets here at EIU,” Wolinski said.

She added that both are very consignment workers and they come in everyday and give it their all.

“They are leading by example and we are fortunate to have two leaders like that,” Wolinski said.

Senior setter Marah Bradbury sets the ball up during a game on Oct. 4, 2014 in Lantz Arena.

Jason Howell

Senior setter Marah Bradbury sets the ball up during a game on Oct. 4, 2014 in Lantz Arena.

Out of the five seniors on the team, Wallace and Bradbury are the most vocal.

Being seniors and captains, Wallace and Bradbury both have been helping the freshman grow and be ready for their first season.

“We’re doing a whole new offense as well as defense this year,” Bradbury said. “So we’ve been talking them through what we’ve learned this last spring and continuing to talk them through things and let them know when they’re doing things right and help them whenever they’re not doing it correctly.”

Even though they are there helping the younger players, Bradbury said that they are holding her and Wallace to the same standard.

One thing that is the same for everyone on the team is they are all playing for a new coach in Sam Wolinski.

Wallace and Bradbury spent their last three years playing under Kate Price but Wallace said the transition has not been difficult.

“I think it’s been fairly easy,” Wallace said. “Sam (Wolinski) came in during the spring so we got to learn the new offensive and defensive systems right away and that’s really helped us transition which is going to help as we go into season.”

Bradbury added that they have a good relationship with Wolinski and also first-year coach Peter Green.

“They’re very open to making sure we know what’s going on all the time,” Bradbury said. “Whether it’s asking questions or going through different scenarios, they’re very open and helpful in that way.”

Both girls look to leave a mark here at Eastern in their final year.

“I just want people to know how hard we’ve worked all four years,” Bradbury said. “Hard work is easy to talk about, it’s hard to do.”

She said they always want to be the hardest workers and that they are competing within themselves to be the best that they can be.

Wallace’s and Bradbury’s first game of their anticipated final season begins on Friday when the Panthers take on Illinois-Chicago in Fort Wayne, Ind.


Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]