ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Regents volleyball program enters the 2017 season primed and ready to make significant strides under new head coach Jennifer Saylor. This year's squad appears poised to work its way up the NACC standings as the team features a talented group of core returners, along with an excellent incoming recruiting class.
Returners Alex Storey (Dexter, Mich.), Kayla Barthels (Fort Worth, Tex.), McKenna Turek (Rockford, Ill.) and August Guest (Lahaina, Hawaii) should provide the Regents with a good foundation moving forward. Junior Alex Storey is coming off her best season in a Regents' uniform, which saw her tally career-highs in both kills (178) and digs (217). Sophomore Kayla Barthels moves into the role of the team's primary setter this year, while Turek and Guest look to provide great leadership and play both on and off the court.
The new additions to the RU volleyball program include transfer Maddison Hiland (Bellevue, Iowa) and six freshman. Hiland brings with her a wealth of playing experience at the collegiate level along with stellar leadership skills to help guide a young but talented Rockford team. Freshman Emily Johannes (Eau Claire, Wis.) joins the Regents after a decorated senior season in which she earned first team all-conference and second team all-area honors. Fellow freshmen Kaylynne Terry (Streator, Ill.) and Jennifer Quintas (Rockford, Ill.) should both also provide an immediate impact for Rockford after very successful high school careers. Rounding out this year's freshmen class are, Libby Malenchik (Rockford, Ill.), Jessica Diaz (Bolingbrook, Ill.) and McCathran Andrew (Rockford, Ill.) who will all push for playing time and help contribute to the team's success.
"I am proud of how this team has worked together thus far to raise the standard of excellence within our volleyball program," Head Coach Jennifer Saylor remarked. "We have developed a vision of where we would like to see our team go and are working hard to accomplish our goals. This is a young team, but we are competitors, so I am excited to see what the season holds for us!"
The RU volleyball team begins its season this Friday, September 1 with a pair of matches at the Buc Blast Tournament. Rockford opens with host Beloit College at 5:30 PM before playing fellow NACC school, Wisconsin Lutheran, at 7:30 PM.