St. Peter, Minn. – Although the 2012 volleyball season is barely underway, the Gustavus volleyball team has set the bar high for what will be a highly competitive and memorable season.
After reaching the MIAC Playoffs for the first time since 2008 last season, head coach Rachelle Dosch has high expectations coming in the season. Dosch, who is in her third year at the head of the program, is enthused by what she has seen during the early stages of the year.
“The attitude has been outstanding during camp,” said Dosch. “From the seniors all the way down to the first-years, I am really impressed with the energy, attitude, and effort in the gym. The team chemistry is the best that I’ve seen and that is a great sign when you consider the size of our first-year and sophomore classes.”
The 2012 Gustavus volleyball roster features a total of 21 players including three seniors, five sophomores, and 12 first-year players. Coach Dosch’s squad is made up of mostly homegrown Minnesota natives, as rookeis Kelle Nett (Spring Valley, Ill.) and Maddy Wavrin (Mabton, Wash.) are the only two out-state players on the team.
Top returners include Emily Phillips (Cleveland, Minn.) and Emily Gillman (Maple Grove, Minn.) in the front row, while Paige Breneman (Sherburn, Minn.) and Shelby Nosan (Baudette, Minn.) saw extensive work in the back row as freshman.
“We lost an outstanding crew of seniors last year, but we have a lot of players who stepped in right away at camp,” commented Dosch. “Of course we have a lot to work on because it’s a new group, but the fact that we have people stepping in and not showing any fear is awesome to see.”
The Gusties will begin their season today when they travel to Northfield to take part in a scrimmage held at St. Olaf College.
“I have one hundred different lineups in my mind,” joked Dosch, “but we are basically just putting a group on the floor and evaluating how well they work together. I want to see what we have been working on in the gym and I want to see that executed in a match setting.”
What excites Dosch most about her team early in the season is the culture that has been created amongst the team.
“The level of energy has been high, the competition has been intense, and the players are working their tails off. This is a really good group of girls both on and off the court.”
The regular season will officially begin on Friday, Aug. 31 for the Gustavus volleyball team. The Gusties will travel to Whitewater, Wis. where they will take part in the UW-Whitewater Invitational over the weekend.