Lady Scots Volleyball Prepared For Promising Year
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Coming off a third straight 20-win season in 2013, the Lady Scots are looking to continue building a culture of success.
- photo by Covenant College
With the program on the rise, expectations are once again high for the Covenant volleyball team and head coach Joanna Ehman. Coming off a third straight 20-win season in 2013, the Lady Scots are looking to continue building a culture of success.
Last season, Covenant entered its first year in the USA South and wound up with a 21-11 overall record and an 11-5 mark in conference play. The team advanced to the semifinal round of the USA South tournament before bowing out to eventual champion Maryville.
"We were competitive last year and we feel we can build upon that," said Ehman, who enters her second year at the helm of the program. "Losing in the semifinals to the eventual champion was motivating for us and our goal is to improve on that this year."
Covenant was selected to finish third, behind Piedmont and Maryville, in the USA South's South Division by the league's coaches in the preseason poll. Overall, the Lady Scots were picked fifth in the conference.
The pieces are there for the Lady Scots to have another successful run in the regular season and be a threat in the conference tournament. USA South All-Conference selections in junior Chelsea VanDyk and Stephanie Kirkpatrick return as do key juniors Hannah Rogers and Cora Schroeder. Also returning this year are juniors Jaclyn Stuart and Kelsey Mathis along with sophomores Caroline McLeod and Mariah Corney.
"Our returners are hungry and motivated after the way last year ended," said Ehman. "We expect those players to step up and lead the team to a finish they are looking for. They aren't satisfied from last year."
VanDyk had another outstanding season in 2013 as she racked up 380 kills (3.62 kills per set), which was good for eighth in the USA South, with a hitting percentage of .302. In two years, VanDyk has accumulated 813 kills. She finished fourth in the conference with 104 total blocks and was named to the All-Conference first team.
Kirkpatrick is the lone four-year senior on the team and has accomplished a lot both on and off the court in her career. She tallied an even 1,000 assists last year (8.40 assists per set) and had 17 double-doubles with assists and digs. Kirkpatrick was named to the USA South All-Conference third team and earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors for a second straight year.
"Stephanie has accomplished a lot in her career," noted Ehman. "She has learned to rise to the occasion and wants the team to do the same. She is resilient and a fighter who will inspire her team to be the same way. She has a lot of responsibility this year, but she is up to the task."
Rogers and Schroeder have been solid in each of their first two years. Last season, Rogers recorded a career-high 265 kills, with a kills per set average of 2.25, while Schroeder had 273 kills and 2.29 kills per set.
Coming back to Covenant this season is junior Pretoria den Boer. After taking a year off, den Boer returns to aid the right side attack. As a sophomore in 2012, den Boer played in 33 matches and registered 169 kills, 207 digs and 37 total blocks.
Ehman's recruiting class netted seven freshmen and one transfer. The freshman class is highlighted by twin sisters Ginny and Schuyler Moore (Fort Myers, Fla.). The Moore twins were both on the AVCA Under Armour Watch List as seniors and picked up many accolades throughout their high school careers.
"Ginny and Schuyler have done a lot and we are excited about what they bring to the table," remarked Ehman.
The transfer is junior Chloe Carlson. The younger sister of former Lady Scot standout Estes Carlson, Chloe comes from Biola University where she ran track & field and cross country.
The rest of the recruiting class includes Christina Argaez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Jordan Eastridge (Salem, Ind.), Jessica Seehorn (Dalton, Ga.), Laura Scott Tomlin (Watkinsville, Ga.) and Maddie Wieskamp (Grimes, Iowa).
"We are excited to watch the freshmen come in and challenge the team," said Ehman. "Everyone will have to work every day to earn their spot. They will make practices more competitive and make our roster much deeper than in past years."
Covenant faces one of its most difficult schedules in program history this season. The Lady Scots face several tough non-conference opponents including Birmingham Southern, Berry, Trevecca Nazarene, Sewanee, Mount St. Joseph, Transylvania, Bethany (W.V.) and others.
"We won't have an opportunity to let up early in the season," said Ehman of her schedule. "You want to win games in a season where every win is a challenge. Our girls seem to really enjoy the competition."
After a weekend trip to the MckAttack Classic in Birmingham, Alabama, Covenant will open the home portion of its schedule on Sept. 3 against Wesleyan at 7 p.m.