The Keene State College Women’s Volleyball team is gearing up for yet another exciting season. Finishing last year with an impressive record of 22-10, head coach Robert Weiner and his Owls are only looking to go up. The Owls qualified for the LEC Championship last year but ultimately fell short.
The team looks to start their redemption tour against Skidmore college on August 30th , located at Springfield College at 5:00 pm. Keene State and Skidmore haven’t played each other in six years, and with the last matchup being a shutout loss for the Owls, there couldn’t be a better team to start the redemption tour against. According to Head Coach Robert Weiner, the team is looking solid, and is putting in the time at the gym.
If anyone has any doubts about whether The Owls will make it the LEC Championship for the third year in a row, Coach Weiner doesn’t want to hear them. “I think this group is stronger than last year, I think this is a really good team, and I think they know it.” Weiner said. “There were things that we didn’t expect would happen that may have set us back a couple days, but everybody has been in it, everybody has been working really hard, it’s a good group.”
There are only two first-years joining this year, Paige Hine, Sydney Johnson, but Coach Weiner already has high praise for both. “They both are very talented, and both will play a significant role here at one point or another,” Weiner said. “Don’t be surprised if you see these two in a starting uniform.”
Coach Weiner said that there were seniors with potential for great leadership: the seniors were great leaders on the court, showing other students the ropes of what college volleyball entails,how to conduct Themselves on the court. He said that this year was going to be a real leadership change for them, as Keene State Women’s Volleyball has had the same captain for the last two years. This year, junior Megan Palmer is filling the leadership role for the first time, and doing it alone. Weiner only had good things to say about Palmer, despite the fact that things may change under a different style of leadership. “She’s going to go down as one of the best we’ve had, in terms of leadership,” Weiner said.
Junior Emily AnnAshford has felt good about this pre-season. “We’ve definitely worked really hard, but we’ve gotten a lot of stuff accomplished,” Ann said. She noted that experiencing going all the way to the championship and falling short is giving the team that much more motivation to go into the season. Emily noted that the fact that they we’re so close to winning the championship last year gives the team all the motivation they need to get back to the big game and claim the gold. She said that focus was something they are going to try and improve upon. “Throughout long games we tend to go up and down in focus, and that is something we can definitely work on,” Ann said.
Sophomore Courtney Chouinard noted that despite the void the seniors will leave, things are looking up. “Everyone is getting a chance to try something new,” Chouinard said. “People are playing new positions and working in different spots they didn’t work before so we’re definitely improving everyone’s skill set.”
Jack Dey can be contacted