Women’s volleyball Season in review: Lady Eagles look to build upon their strong season

The IVCC Women’s Volleyball team took a big step forward this season, finishing with a record of 16 wins and 15 losses.
Compared to a record of 2-31 in 2016 and 12-25 in 2017, the Lady Eagles have been trending in the right direction since the end of last season. 
One big difference between this season and last season was the work ethic and the team energy, which Coach Erin Polte described as the biggest difference between the past two seasons. “I think the girls worked very hard to have a lot of energy and positivity, which helped us have a successful season.” Polte also noted the strength of the team dynamic. Before the season, she stated that it was the best dynamic that she has seen since she started here. She is proud of the team dynamic this year. 
“This group has exceeded my expectations,” said Polte. “They got along really well and worked together to try and solve problems on the court… When any team has a good dynamic like that, it always helps when it comes to play.”
The Lady Eagles ended up losing to Carl Sandburg College in the regional finals in three straight sets. Coach Polte noted that the team was out-matched on the court by a team with a better offense. She keeps a positive outlook about the loss, “I wouldn’t say we came up short, it was hard to lose but we played against a great team who ended up going to nationals.”
The team will be losing some key players next season. Riley Johnson, Jenna Lusietto, and Jessica Garber will be among the team leaders graduating after this season. Lusietto led the team in kills and kills per set with 421 and 3.93 respectively, which ranked top ten in the region in both categories. 
Meanwhile, Johnson was ranked fourth in the region in assists per set with 4.85. Garber led the team in assists and assists per set with 994 and 9.29. Polte is positive that the returning players will step up and take over the production left by the departing sophomores.  
Though the departing sophomores ere a big part of the team dynamic, incoming freshmen were also big contributors. Melissa Trilikis led the team in saves and saves per set, while also finishing third on the team in digs per set, while Mallery Pearson finished top five in kills and kills per set. Other returning sophomores include Lauren Bernardoni and Kate Vigars.
Another returning player that showed up big on the stat sheets was Anna Murray. She finished second on the team in kills, kills per set, digs, and digs per set. Murray’s freshman season caught the eye of her coach in a very positive way. “She leads by example, which is to give everything she’s got,” said Polte. Polte also believes that Murray’s numbers will continue to improve next season.
The freshman class put together this year is a very promising sign for the team going forward. Polte noted that she had a great freshman class. When it comes to recruiting, she wants players who have a strong passion for the game and will work hard for the team.
With a strong season under their belts, the Lady Eagles will look to build upon it in the future.