Southern Nazarene’s volleyball team has been working hard and preparing for the new season that began Friday, September 1st, in Tyler, Texas against Union University in the UT-Tyler Tournament. After losing key players from last season such as Bailey Grimes, Shantalle Demirjian, and Peyton Parsons, the Crimson Storm is returning fifteen players from last season and has added six freshmen to the roster.
Head Coach Kevin Ingram is excited not only about the strong core that they’re bringing back, but the new additions, stating,“We have a really good class of players that are going to come in and help us add to what we already have. The experience they are bringing back is also going to be one of their strengths going into the GAC.” Coach Ingram explained that having experience in key positions on the court will come as a strength to the team as the season starts, and the experience will lend itself as they start conference play. “The leadership within the team and experience will play big for us,” he says, “The fact that we’re older and have a lot of knowledge and experience is gonna be really helpful.”
Kaley Brubaker, junior setter for the Crimson Storm, has several goals for this season, such as winning a conference ring and proving the preseason poll wrong, where SNU was voted fifth in the conference. However, there are key components needed in order to accomplish these goals. “Discipline, consistency, and grit are going to be key in getting us to our goal of conference rings. We are going to have to lock arms against tough opponents and battle together.” Brubaker has confidence in her team and when they have the right attitude, energy, and effort going into a match, she believes, “We are a tough team to beat on the floor.”
Sunny Batschelett, senior opposite hitter, has similar goals to Brubaker in winning a championship in the GAC, but the work the team has been putting in the preseason is what is going to help them start off the season right. Batschelett mentions that their practices have already been extremely competitive, also saying, “The energy on the court is contagious and the vibes off the court have been great. You can really tell that everyone has bought into the program.” Batschelett also emphasized the team’s motto for this season: “Our team mindset this year is to ‘love it’.’”
Batschelett defined the term “love it” as buying into the process and loving the process, “During the good and the bad…that will eventually get us to that championship game.”
For those who come out to support the Crimson Storm this season, Batschelett wants to show the fans more than just the team’s ability to hit and dig on the court. “Our team goal is to show the fans something different in how to posture ourselves with love for one another, support, and being each other’s biggest fans,” Batschelett states.
The SNU volleyball team is excited to kick off the brand new season. They have big goals and expectations in mind not only on the court for their team, but off the court. You can come out to Sawyer Center and support the SNU Crimson Storm in their home opener against the University of Central Oklahoma tonight at 6 PM!
Photo by Jacob Rice on Unsplash