Joshua Mabry, Campus Carrier Asst. Sports Editor
Coming off of a successful season last year, Head Volleyball Coach Caitlyn Moriarty hopes to see the program continue to grow and move forward this season.
“We had a great team last year, but it really is a new team this season,” Moriarty said.
“We have five freshmen that are already making waves. I think that will help us get to the next step, whatever that might be.”
There are 12 returning players on this year’s team. Seven of the returning women are seniors while three are juniors and two are sophomores.
The freshmen will be of particular interest this year. According to Moriarty, an exciting position to watch for this season will be the starting libero.
The previous starting libero, who also served as the team captain, recently graduated. The two liberos on this year’s team, Laura Beier and Anna Rumore, are both first-year students.
She said that the new starting libero will not be a replacement, but will bring a new energy to the team’s defense.
She believes that the rest of the freshmen class will be exciting to watch this year as well.
Moriarty said that there will be two new freshmen hitters this season, Isabella Samson and Abby Martin.
“Offensively, they are doing great things in the gym. They are definitely threats to the rest of the conference and even to our team in practice.”
The final freshman of 2018, Emily Rapach, will be a setter.
Moriarty said that Rapach is physical and challenges the other setters on the team.
“She’s a workhorse and wants to learn from them about the non-physical pieces of setting like strategy and getting better,” Moriarty said.
Moriarty’s Lady Vikings are currently ranked in the top 25. She wants the team to believe that they can be a top 10 team, however.
Moriarty has expectations for her team off of the court this season as well. She hopes to see the Lady Vikings be successful in their academics and relationships with others.
“That’s a big part of our program,” she said.
Jordan Leitch, junior setter, echoed Moriarty’s remarks.
“My number one expectation is growth, relationships and trust,” Leitch said.
“I don’t think you can be a great team on the court unless you have such chemistry with one another.”
Leitch said both she and her team hope to go very far in the NCAA D3 tournament.
Moriarty hopes that the Berry community will come out to support the volleyball team this season.
Moriarty added that once a person comes to a volleyball game, they will want to come back because of the exciting fan atmosphere.