Following up a season in which you went 25-11 with a 16-2 conference record is hard for anyone, but the Missouri Western Griffons volleyball team is confident in their abilities and players to do even better.
This is a pretty experienced team with a good amount of returners. 11 total players are returning, five of whom earned All-MIAA accolades in 2017 plus two other starters. There are also four newcomers, including three freshmen and one junior college transfer.
Head coach Marian Carbin talked about the expectations for this season.
“We have quite a few returners coming back, and the expectations are high for us to follow up our first ever MIAA regular season championship with another great year,” Carbin said.
Coach Carbin is coming into her sixth season coaching the Griffons, and in a short time has shown her progress as a coach to the team she used to call her own when she played. The Griffons set single-season records for digs (2,264) and assists (1,597), knocked off four ranked opponents and won 13 straight matches. Carbin’s fellow conference coaches voted her MIAA Coach of the Year following the historic 2017 season.
This year, the team has many of its players from last year’s great season, including the kills leader, Stephanie Doak; assists leader, Lauren Murphy; blocks leader, Ali Tauchen. Audrey Keim is also returning. She ended the year last year second in digs.
One thing coach Carbin talked about was her schedule for this 2018 season and the support they’ve received.
“We have put together a very competitive non-conference schedule that we think will prepare us well for the grind of our MIAA schedule,” Carbin said. “I think everyone involved in our program from the coaching staff, to the players, to the administrators that support us, are excited to get the 2018 volleyball season started and see what this team can do!”
They’ve won the first four games of the season and hope to continue doing great things in the future. With the returners they have and the impressive freshmen they’ve brought in, this is a year to watch and remember.