Lyndsay Krisel

Equinox Staff

In the midst of what appears to be the kickoff to a good season thus far, the Keene State College women’s volleyball team has been working hard again to top one of its best seasons yet in the fall of 2011.

The ECAC champions have a very strong and determined team this year and the confidence level to take it all the way this time. KSC Head Coach Bob Weiner said the team has six returning seniors and junior transfers who have “extraordinary leadership abilities.”

Weiner said he expects the women to work just as hard this season as they did in the previous one.

“The girls are used to the pressure and handle it very well, and leadership on this team is very important,” Weiner said.

Weiner also explained why this particular sport attracts so many players, as he already begins to prepare for and search out recruits for the 2012 season.

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“The main reason people play this sport is because it is not an individual sport,” Weiner said. He states the women as a team have their own goal this year to attend the NCAA tournament, which is an excellent aspiration to attain.

Weiner said his senior captains are especially focused during their last season here at Keene State.

Weiner stated senior captain and setter Laurie Whalen is very smart, focused, and good at articulating the team goals, striving for nothing less than a fun, competitive, yet productive season.

So far, we have seen some good things from the players, but some of their most crucial and competitive match-ups are yet to arrive.

Weiner explained UMass Boston is the number one team in the division this year with no graduates from the previous season, and will be a tough team to beat.

The match will be the last regular match of the season on Oct., 27 in Boston and Weiner believes  they are ready to take on the challenging team.

Aside from UMass, Weiner said their two other toughest matches of the season will be against Western Connecticut, and Keene State’s rival team, Plymouth State.

Both Bridget O’Bryant and Laurie Whalen mentioned there are at least 16 girls who all have the capability to start.

“The freshmen are very strong and ready to step up in the coming years,” senior captain setter Laurie Whalen said. O’Bryant said their junior transfer from New Mexico is capable of big things this season. Weiner stated the freshmen are very talented, and they help to push the seniors as well.

“The first couple of days, one senior stated that she was actually scared of the freshmen, but once that passed, they really began to bond as a team; one senior came to me thanking me for bringing them in this year.  I can see it on their faces sometimes that they just want to throw out a ball and say, ‘Hey let’s play,’ even though they know they can’t,” Weiner said.

“Their communication on and off the court is especially good,” Weiner said. “Once the team accepted that the freshmen who played on the court belonged, that’s when they really began working as a team.”

Weiner said the seniors seem to really be enjoying their last season, and that he feels strongly about his captains.

“You know that movie ‘Remember the Titans,’ when the coach says you can never replace a Gary Busear? That is how I feel about my seniors, you can never replace a Bridget O’Bryant or Laurie Whalen,” Weiner said.

Whalen said winning the ECAC tournament last season has really upped their confidence for this season and that they feel very strongly about their goals.

“We beat some tough teams last year,” Whalen said. “Endicott was especially a close game, but we stepped it up and beat them when it mattered most.”

As the team continues its season, we hope to see some continuous wins and good competition from the Lady Owls, so that they can hopefully conquer their goal to make it to the NCAA tournament this year.

“Winning the ECAC’s really made us realize that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to, and we’re ready to take it to the next level this year,” Whalen said.


Lyndsay Krisel can be contacted at


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