Volleyball confident after home wins


Sean Hastings

Senior Allie Hueston goes up for the kill in the Panthers’ 3-2 loss to Green Bay Saturday in Lantz Arena. Hueston tallied 26 kills in the three matches over the weekend. Hueston had a personal tournament high of 12 kills in the Panthers’ five-set win againt Memphis.

Kaitlin Cordes, Volleyball Reporter

The Eastern volleyball team started its season on a high note, and it is all thanks to the team’s hard work and positive attitude.

Freshman Laurel Bailey said last weekend’s wins are important to her team because it means all of the extra work she and her teammates have done paid off.

“I think it means a lot to us to get two wins at home because I know we have worked really hard this summer training and doing open gyms,” Bailey said. “We’re always making ourselves and our team one percent better each practice.”

Bailey explained that a home win to kick off the season gave the team a boost after walking away with no wins at home last year.

As a newcomer to a team with six upper classmen, Bailey said she contributes to the team by delivering a variety of hits and placements. She said her goals for the season include reaching the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.

“Our team is working toward getting to the OVC tournament by training hard in practice and always striving to get the win. (We’re) always hungry for the next win,” Bailey said.

Sophomore Maggie Runge said it’s the team’s lasting bond on and off the court that make the difference. Runge explained that playing as a cohesive unit doesn’t fall on the shoulder of just one player but the team as a whole.

Runge described her team as a squad that supports each other, and genuine friendships have been made through the sport.

“We try not to let anyone fall off, and if someone begins to fall, we look to one another for help. I think it’s a great thing to be able to be able to have that with your team,” Runge said.

Runge said the team’s greatest asset this year is its strong blocking. That showed in the first three games of the season in which the Panthers registered 11 blocks against Green Bay, 14 blocks against Bradley and 17 blocks against Memphis.

Another strength for the relatively young team is aggressive attacking. At the home opener, the team totaled 162 kills over three matches.

Runge said that the team benefits from relentless attacking and skilled serve receive.

“Our team’s strength is blocking and our aggressiveness on attacking when we really go at it,” Runge said. “We have begun to realize that when we just go hard, we do well and get kills.”

The Panthers will have a chance to show off their blocking and attacking this Friday and Saturday as they travel to Colorado for the Denver Tournament. Eastern will take on Niagara, UC Davis and Denver. Eastern’s next home match is Sept. 8 against Alabama A&M.

Kaitlin Cordes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]