By DAVID MERCER
As the fall semester gets into full swing, the University of Mary Washington’s women’s volleyball team is successfully progressing through their season. The team started on a six-game winning streak before falling to Eastern University on Friday, Sept. 5. The team jumped out early and now has an 8-2 overall record.
When speaking about his team, head coach Matt Troy said, “I’m excited to see the improvement from last season to this season and the growth and progress of the team.”
Last season, women’s volleyball finished third in the Capital Athletic Conference with a 6-2 conference record. They won their opening round playoff game before losing to Salisbury in the second round and was two points away from making it to the CAC championship game.
“The team is very determined and they work extremely hard in the gym,” Troy said. “The team is goal oriented and they don’t want to let one another down. They work hard for their teammates.”
This year’s women’s volleyball team is young, which some might say could present a disadvantage, but that has not been the case for the team. Troy noted that the biggest obstacle for the team this year is their youth, with seven freshmen on the team, but that has not hindered them.
“The freshmen have upped the intensity, challenged the returners and contributed on the court,” Troy said.
The returners are also excited about the freshmen on the squad. Troy said it’s hard to choose one or two impact returners from the team because they all bring something different that the team needs. Two of those returners, sophomore Emma Olson and junior Emma Murphy, were all-conference selections last season.
Returning sophomore Kelsey Stanbro is one of those players making their presence known on the court. Stanbro wants to help her teammates as much as possible because she said she sees how young they are but knows they can produce.
“I’ll bring experience to the team because we are so young, and the sophomores and juniors have to be leaders,” Stanbro said.
There are no seniors on the team, but Stanbro said, “I want to contribute a leadership quality to the team because the majority of our players are freshman. I want to set the example on and off of the court.”
Junior business major Emma Murphy plays the middle hitter position for the team.
“I’m playing for my teammates, family and myself,” Murphy said.
Murphy said she is excited to play with her teammates this season.
“I love how well we get along on and off the court,” Murphy said. “We’re a young team, but if we work together we can achieve greatness.”
Despite being such a young team the UMW Women’s Volleyball team has had much success so far this season and show no sign of stopping.
“The ultimate goal is to win a NCAA championship and really learn how to play together,” Troy said.
They plan to achieve this goal with hard work and dedication. The team won their last game against North Carolina Wesleyan, and their next game is at Carnegie Mellon University on Friday, Sept. 19 at 4 p.m.