The MSUM volleyball team is off to a strong start in its young season and is looking to build off a successful end to the 2012 season.
The team can be viewed as both young and experienced. It doesn’t have a senior on this year’s squad but returns many starters from last season.
MSUM was picked to finish ninth in the preseason Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference poll.
The team had its preseason cut short by a week, but that hasn’t stopped them from working hard each practice.
“Practice has been going really well this year … we’ve gotten a lot done in the practices,” said junior Annie Palmquist.
Playing in one of the toughest conferences in the NSIC, the team faces tough competition each time they step on the court.
“We have to bring our A game everyday,” said head coach Tammy Blake.
Blake is entering her 19th year as the head volleyball coach and is excited to see how this years’ team grows.
Blake pointed to the team being strong on the defensive side of the ball and looks for that to be another key part of the success they have on the court.
With no seniors the team has looked to each other for leadership.
“We all work as a team … we are very much one unit,” Palmquist said.
With a number of players being able to play more than one position, both Palmquist and Blake believe that will benefit the team.
“Each player brings her piece of the puzzle, and together everyone fits,” Blake said.
Starting the season at 4-0 the team found fast success in the Winona State tournament this past weekend. MSUM defeated both NSIC opponents Upper Iowa and Winona State in the tournament.
The team will play in the Central Missouri tournament on Saturday before opening the NSIC portion of its schedule on Sept. 19 in Minot, N.D., against Minot State University.
BY BREANN LENZMEIER