Combination of youth and experience make up volleyball team
By Jadon Frank
A combination of youth and experience make up the 2012-13 Briercrest women’s volleyball team.
The team has a combination of veterans and rookies that should create a balance of competition within the team, while also adding a good dose of mature leadership.
Head coach Nolan Weinmaster is looking for his veterans to play some key roles this season.
“I am looking for our veteran players to step up into starting roles – some of them into new roles at different positions than they have played in the past,” Weinmaster said. “I am excited about the leadership they have shown in the off-season, especially Brooke Peterson and Erin Anderson, and am looking forward to how our vets continue to set the great culture we want for our program. I am already seeing a new level of maturity and confidence from our returning players overall, so that is great to see!”
With only six returning players from the 2011-12 season there is instantly one open position in the starting line-up.
“We will have at least one rookie in our starting line-up this year with only six returning players so I am expecting all of our rookies to be competing for a chance to make an impact on the starting line-up,” Weinmaster said. “We have a lot of talented first-year players with a lot of athletic ability – what I am looking for is who is going to be the most consistent and contribute to our team’s success factors on a regular basis. I am also looking for a lot of energy from eight new faces on the team and am looking forward to the excitement they will bring to each practice and game.”
The team members are all excited to learn and grow as a group.
“We have an outstanding group of girls to work with from both a character and athletic standpoint. I am excited to work with girls who want to learn and improve all the time,” Weinmaster said. “I am excited about the journey ahead and progressing towards being ready to compete with the top teams in the ACAC and CCAA by the end of the season.”
The coach has some help leading the team this season from two former Briercrest volleyball standouts, Carly Quiring and Ashley Streuber. Streuber is one of 12 assistant coaches who were selected by the CCAA to earn a Female Apprentice Coach Program grant and both assistants will bring knowledge and leadership to the team.
Weinmaster has high expectations for this group of student-athletes as they work to reach their potential this season.
“I expect us to be a playoff team and to practice and play in a way that takes us towards our purpose of winning an ACAC and CCAA championship,” he said. “I expect a lot of passion and fearlessness as we learn and grow together as a young team. We have established a culture of integrity, honour and humility, which we really want to carry forward this season and have those values define us as we pursue our purpose. The team is very athletic this year and we can do some great things on offence, but our backbone will be our serving and defense, which we have been working hard to develop during the preseason.”
“We have a lot to learn but are making some good progress on a weekly basis. The ACAC is going to be tighter than ever from top to bottom, so consistency in our execution is going to be crucial every week.”
Weinmaster sees this weekend’s home opener as an especially important game.
“We are excited about our home opener vs Lakeland on November 2/3rd, who we haven’t played during the last couple regular seasons,” he explained. “They are one of the most experienced teams in the league this year and it will be a good weekend to gauge where we are at with the top teams in the league.”
During pre-season the team has been developing into a close group of women with a common purpose and desire.
“We have been talking a lot about being passionate and fearless and how, as God’s children, we have the motivation and confidence to be the most passionate and fearless team in the league,” Weinmaster explained. “We have enjoyed sharing personal stories during team times with the team chaplain, Nancy Penner. She is also taking the team on a journey through the ‘battlefield of the mind’ – which also really ties in with our theme of being fearless and confident in the abilities God has given us and what He wants us to do with them.”