High expectations for women's volleyball
By Rob Schellenberg
The expectations are higher for Nolan Weinmaster and his Briercrest College and Seminary Clippers volleyball team this season.
Despite losing four starters from last year’s squad, the team is expected to be very competitive in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference this season.
“I feel we can definitely compete for a medal. Our goal, our purpose is to win the ACAC and CCAA championships and so I expect this year to be another step in the right direction towards that goal,” Weinmaster said.
The Clippers had a 13-7 record in 2009, their first winning season in many years.
Coach Weinmaster is confident that having eight returning players will help the team earn a second straight winning record and another berth in the ACAC championships.
“I hope that a winning culture has been established a little bit and that we’ll be able to build on that. There’s a huge excitement for the girls that are coming in that they are going to come and be a part of something good.
“In my mind I expect us to have more success than we did last year,” Weinmaster said.
It may take a few games for the team to gel as a unit, however.
“We are going to probably have some players on the court starting that are rookies and so it is going to depend a lot on how they develop, especially in terms of consistency. I think that’s the biggest thing.
“We were really consistent last year and that brought us a lot of success even though we weren’t the biggest team or the hardest hitting team but we were just consistent and did what we could do well. I feel that with this group there is potential for more. It’s just how quickly we come along.”
There are seven players joining the Clippers this year. Two are from B.C. and five are from the Prairies.
Ariel Townsend played middle for her club team in Kelowna, and Brianne Schenderling of Langley will be looking to earn one of the outside hitter positions. Emma Toews of Beaverlodge, Alta. will also be looking to compete for one of the open middle positions.
Four recruits are coming from strong Saskatchewan volleyball programs. Brooke Peterson was a setter, libero, and outside hitter for her Weyburn and Regina teams, Erin Anderson played power for her club team in Saskatoon, and Larissa Wiens and Shauna Regier played club volleyball for the United Huskies and the strong high school volleyball program in Waldheim.
“I’m really excited about this group. They’re just really athletic,” Weinmaster explained. “I feel we are as good or better than we were last year.”