It’s been early mornings and late evenings for Union Women’s Volleyball team as they begin to prepare for their 2016 season.
The Lady Bulldogs finished last fall with their best record since moving to Division II four years ago, and Darrin McClure, head coach, begins his second season with Union this fall and expects even greater improvements upon the foundation laid last season.
“I think we can beat some of those middle of the road teams that are just above us in preseason rank,” McClure said. “We have to take care of business with home games. Our conference is very competitive, but as we saw last year, anyone can beat anyone. We just have to be prepared and take of things on our end.”
The Lady Bulldogs will compete this season with six freshman, two transfers and seven returning players.
“I’m excited about all of our new comers, they’re really pushing us to work harder in practice and that is making us better,” Hannah Hugely, senior family studies major, said. “I think that will be a huge strength as we start the season.”
Though the Lady Bulldogs only lost one senior last year, Coach McClure believes the larger size of their roster this year will be really beneficial for the team. The extra players allow for better preparation in practice and depth on the court.
“Our freshmen are good players and will be really good players,” McClure said. “Our transfers both play middle and we desperately needed some depth in the middle. That’s going to be huge help for us having two girls that have already played college ball playing that position.”
Coach McClure is proud of the girls’ hard work and happy with their progress after just 7 days of practice. The Lady Bulldogs play an inner squad game this weekend and then travel to Southeastern Oklahoma State University the following weekend to play their first tournament of the season.
“We play four matches on the road in Oklahoma,” McClure said. “It should be a good two weekends of tournaments for us to prepare for conference play and gain some confidence.”
Union’s first home game is Thursday, September 15 in the Fred Delay Gymnasium.