ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Rockford University volleyball team enters its second season under head coach Jennifer Saylor, and is highly motivated to improve upon last year's results. The RU volleyball squad returns four players and is eyeing major contributions from its talented newcomers.
The team will lean on its returners for experience and veteran presence both on and off the court this season. Amongst the returners are senior Maddison Hiland (Bellevue, Iowa) and a trio of sophomores in Emily Johannes (Eau Claire, Wis.), Jennifer Quintas (Rockford, Ill.) and McCathran Andrew (Rockford, Ill.). Johannes and Hiland return looking to build off last season where they led the team in kills, with 190 and 177 respectfully. Quintas returns as one of the top defenders from last year's team, where she led the Regents with 355 digs.
With Rockford having just four returners, the Regents will look toward its solid group of newcomers to help make an immediate impact. Within that group are freshmen Nicole Eggers (Marshall, Wis.), Casey Sheetz (Rockford, Ill.), Paige Carpenter (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Della Crain (Lena, Ill.), each of whom has a chance to see significant playing time early on. All of the freshmen begin their collegiate careers following successful performances at the high school level. Sheetz will be counted on to lead the charge for the Regent offense, as she is in line to be the team's starting setter.
"The team and coaches are very excited for the start of the season, as we feel that with the leadership of the returners, and the potential of all the newcomers, that we will be a more athletic and competitive team," Head Coach Jennifer Saylor stated. "The newcomers have stepped in and already have become an integral part of our team and will play large roles in this year's success."
The Rockford University volleyball team will begin its season at the Buc Blast Tournament in Beloit, Wis. this weekend. Rockford's first match is on Friday, August 31 at 7:00 PM against North Central University.