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The Blue & Gray Press | August 15, 2018

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Volleyball welcomes new coach

volleyballBy CARTER WALLER

The University of Mary Washington Women’s volleyball team named Matt Troy the new head coach, ushering in a new era for the Eagles.

Troy is joining UMW after a three year tenure at Johns Hopkins University, where he coached his team to an overall record of 77-21 and led them to a school record of 29-4 in the 2012 season.

In 2011, Troy was named Centennial Conference Coach of the Year after a 25-5 record and a Centennial Conference Championship.

“Coming to Mary Washington, the level of competition is very strong. We play a number of games against teams ranked in the top 30, like Christopher Newport University and Randolph Macon.” Troy said.

Troy said that he expects a Conference Championship level of play throughout the season despite the youthfulness of the team.

“This year we have only three upperclassmen but nine freshmen,” junior Kayla Crawford said.

According to Crawford, an outside hitter, the team has two seniors, Christine Tran and Kaitlynn Wickersham, who both serve as captains.

The younger players managed to showcase their abilities early in the season following an early season tournament at the Virginia Wesleyan Invitational.

They lost their first two games against Randolph College and Meredith College but bounced back with two wins against Johnson & Wales and Virginia Wesleyan, as freshman Emma Olson was named CAC Volleyball Player of the Week.

“We saw her as a great player during the recruiting process. She has a great attitude and is overly competitive. She is extremely hardworking and stays motivated,” Troy said.

Troy was very active in the recruiting process, bringing in the eight freshmen.

According to Troy, the team displayed much better conditioning than other teams, since none of the UMW players appeared fatigued by the end of the tournament.

“Over the summer, we had a strength and conditioning program throughout, and preseason practices were very hard. We practiced three times a day for two and a half hours each practice six days a week,” Troy said.

As the team prepares for its upcoming matches, Troy said that they can win with their young talent, and it is all a matter of execution.

“It may be a roller coaster kind of season, but it ultimately comes down to execution. If we continue to execute, we will create more opportunities for ourselves,” Troy said.