Volleyball prepares for a season unlike any other

The Wolverines want to accomplish what they were unable to last year. They want to win the WAC and get an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

After being postponed last fall, the volleyball season is in full swing this spring. (Photo by Hunter Hall)

Volleyball season usually starts in late August, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, the season was pushed back to a late January start. This season is sure to bring on new challenges with games likely to be canceled and players and coaches having to quarantine, but the Wolverines want to remain grateful and optimistic through it all. 

New Players

Last season, the Wolverines finished with an 11-19 record and a 7-9 record in conference. The team’s season ended after they were eliminated in the second round of the WAC tournament.

Now, the Wolverines will look to improve their record, and to do so they will have to rely on some new and inexperienced players. The team has seven incoming freshmen that they are confident can contribute. 

“We have a lot of depth with our incoming freshmen who can contribute,” said sophomore outside hitter Tori Dorius. “We all trust them.”

With the potential for a lot of newcomers to get playing time it is important that the players focus on being who they are and to know what is expected of them from the team.

“Everyone on the team has a role, and it is important to stay with that role and get comfortable with it,” said Dorius.

The Wolverines also believe in their returning players. Senior defensive specialist Seren Jardine said that she was excited for the returning players and to see them grow.

Jardine is in the top ten in WAC history and third all-time in UVU history in digs with 1509. She is focused on breaking the school record and helping the team to get better. 

“I want to break the UVU record,” added Jardine. “That is one of my main goals…and to encourage the young girls to give them confidence to help them get better in the future.”

New Challenges

COVID-19 has brought different challenges to the season that have already affected the team. The Wolverines were scheduled to go on the road and play a series with California Baptist but both games were canceled due to the coronavirus. 

With a high possibility that more games will get canceled this season, the Wolveriness have decided to stay positive and not worry about what they cannot control. 

“It is devastating, and it is a challenge to be quarantined for a week,” said Jardine. “We have chosen as a team to be grateful for every game.”

“It’s easy to get frustrated with it but everyone is going through the same things that we are,” added Dorius. “We want to have the mindset to control what you can control.”

The Wolverines will likely look for leadership from their senior Seren Jardine to help them keep a good mindset — she believes that she can help lead the team by example.

 “As a senior, it is critical to lead by example,” said Jardine. “A positive attitude sets the tone for the team.”

Season Goals

The Wolverines want to accomplish what they were unable to last year. They want to win the WAC and get an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. 

Jardine said that the team’s goal is, “to win the WAC tourney and get the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament…the journey will be different, and the goal is to keep pushing through.”

Dorius added that their goal is to, “win the WAC and make it to the NCAA tournament.” She also mentioned that the team wanted to have good chemistry on and off the court this season.

Nobody knows what 2021 will hold for this team, but even with the new challenges of COVID-19, the Wolverines look like they are locked in and prepared for whatever happens.

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