After the first four matches of the women’s volleyball season it is clear the Marauders have a lot of work to do.
Although it is still early in the season Millersville has dropped each of their first four decisions.
Their last three losses were at the Dutch County Spiketacular, held here at Millersville University. Playing against tough opponents is one reason for the slow start.
The Marauders have played Shippensburg and West Chester, two tough PSAC East contenders with winning records.
Millersville also has lost to a Wilmington team with an impressive 6-2 record. Reasons for the disappointing start, begin with coaching and the team.
The season started with new head coach Betsy Hayden taking the reigns of the Marauder Volleyball team with great excitement.
“With our returning starters and freshman talent we will be exciting to watch,” explained Hayden.
Hayden is in her first year here at Millersville University and came from Wesley College, which during the 2007 season experienced a quick turnaround under Hayden, posting a school record 11 victories.
Hayden established herself as one of the top volleyball coaches in the small college ranks at Onondaga Community College where she amassed over 100 victories in just five years. Onondaga won or shared the regular season Mid-State Athletic Conference title and also won the conference tournament three times under Hayden.
Hayden looks to bring that success to Millersville.
She has been successful in the past, and Hayden believes this volleyball team will mold into a better unit throughout the season.
“We will put it together,” Hayden said. “Our competition has been very good so far, but we will build off of this young team and get better.”
The Marauders are a very young team, and out of the 15 players on the roster eight are freshman. The team will be led by two seniors Kathy Howard and Laura Navin, who was named to the Spiketacular All-Tournament Team.
In addition two juniors expect to have an impact this year, Meredith Sinback and Emily Bires. Sinback was named All-PSAC East Second Team last year and shattered the single season record for service aces with 110.
Her 0.91 service aces per game ranked first in the PSAC and fourth in all of Division II.
She also became the first Marauder since 1995 to register over 1,000 assists in a season, posting 1,103 last year. Bires is the returning leader in kills contributing 292 kills last season averaging almost three a game.
The Marauders expect to have immediate contribution from some freshmen. Hannah Duckworth out of Pennridge High school, Allison Huss of Bishop Shanahan High, and Brittney Lease from Spring Grove are all expected to play and make an immediate impact to the season.
Although the season may have not started out well, the coach and team are looking to improve and get better. Last season started similarly as the lady Marauders lost their first four matches only to come back and win their next eight.
The volleyball team looks to rebound the same way this season. They face another long weekend that they hope will go better than last weekend.
They travel to East Stroudsburg to particpate in the ESU?Tri-Match Friday and Saturday.