The Gustavus volleyball program begins a new era as Rachelle Dosch takes over as head coach for Kari Eckheart who resigned to accept a position as assistant athletics director at the College. Dosch will work with an experienced group of players including five starters and 13 letterwinners from a squad that posted a record of 11-17 overall and finished in a tie for ninth place in the MIAC with mark of 3-8.
Dosch spent the summer making preparations for her first season as a head coach and she is pleased with how the team has responded to her direction in preseason workouts. She stated, “The entire program is going through a transition from the freshmen to the upperclassmen to the coaches and everyone is responding very well by working extremely hard in the gym. As a result, this group has already developed a strong team chemistry.”
All-Conference outside hitter Nicki Ainsworth (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) leads the six returning starters. The other returning starters include defensive specialist Jenny Ewert (Sr., St. James, Minn.), middle hitter Angela Ahrendt (Jr., St. Paul, Minn.), setter Malea Noennig (Jr., Norwood-Young America, Minn.), outside hitter Olivia Warren (Jr., Goodhue, Minn.), outside hitter Janey Helland (Sr., Mapleton, Minn.), and libero Erin Sherman (So, Golden Valley, Minn.). Other top returners include include defensive specialist Katie Ness (So., Excelsior, Minn.), outside hitter Abby Roff (Plymouth, Minn.), outside hitter Lisa Beacher (Roseville, Minn.), setter Kelsey Florian (Roseville, Minn.), and middle hitter Emily Phillips (So., Cleveland, Minn.).
The Gusties also welcome four newcomers to the squad this season and that group includes middle hitter Kaytlin Remold (Fy., Byron, Minn.), middle hitter Dana Boerboom (Fy., Cottonwood, Minn.), setter McKinze Bunne (Fy., Ostrander, Minn.), and defensive specialist Jenna Legatt (Fy., Sartell, Minn.).
Coach Dosch is excited about the energy, enthusiasm, and passion that this group has exhibited during preseason practices and she looks forward to watching them grow together in the next couple of months. She stated, “The team has high goals for this season including working towards finishing at the top of the conference and becoming a team that is “watchable” and “feared”. With the way things have been going so far…they are on their way to achieving those goals and making this a very special year.”