Healthy, hungry spikers will not get overconfident



With the volleyball season fast approaching, one thing that head coach Pete Waite would love is a healthy, hungry squad for the entire season.

It appears he could get both.

Only junior outside hitter Dana Romans is not at 100 percent. Romans is still coming back from shoulder surgery and should be back to normal soon.

“She’s progressing everyday and hitting harder and harder,” Waite commented. “Each day the arm is sore the next day but recovers faster each time.”

The team as a whole, despite the loss of Wendy Mason, looks better than where they left off last year. Waite knows that losing a player with the athleticism of a Mason will be difficult, but has four worthy candidates looking to fill the void.

Romans, junior Danielle Gerenz, junior Joyce Book and senior Becky Ramsey are the four Waite will be taking a long, hard look at.

Once all the players are on the court, the team will have to avoid getting too overconfident as they go up against some of their lesser opponents. Waite doesn’t foresee this as being a problem.

“We know that in conference play that teams will all be coming after us,” Waite said. “It (would) make their year to beat us. Conference play means so much because we have an automatic bid (to the NCAA tournament) by winning the conference tournament.

“We want to make sure that those conference teams know we mean business.”

The coaches in the Mid-Continent Conference ranked the teams in the order which they believe the teams will fall. NIU (16-0, 33-6) was first, Eastern Illinois (14-2, 23-11) second and the University of Illinois-Chicago (9-7, 17-15) were predicted to finish third.