[pullquote align=”right”]We are getting the players we need at Montana State to build a successful program [/pullquote]
The Montana State University women’s volleyball team began it’s 2013 season with a rocky start, falling to 1-7 in the first eight games. The Cats won against Stetson University, a small college from DeLand, Fla., with a set score of 3-2. Since then, they lost five matches in a row, most recently against Brigham Young University. However, the Bobcats have not yet had an opportunity to take advantage of the newly renovated Shroyer Gym Court. “I think the team has done well thus far,” said Head Coach Kyle Weindel. “We have played a very tough non-conference schedule and with the majority of the team being underclassmen I think we have been able to play at a high level. I believe this team is ahead of where last year’s team was at this point in the season.”
MSU finished the 2012 season with a record of 15-14, tying the school high for a winning season record. Since 2005, Montana State has held a cumulative record of 63-168. They seek to erase that from memory and take the Big Sky Tournament for the first time in school history. The 2012 season brought hopes of a conference championship run before falling to Northern Arizona in the playoffs.
If you added up every senior, junior and sophomore on the Cats’ roster, it still would not equal the number of freshmen MSU has brought onto the team. Utilizing new players such as setter Anna Sykora, middle blocker Christie Markowski and libero/defensive specialist Dana Vestman will be key to the Bobcats regaining their traction in the Big Sky Conference and coming up with wins. Junior and sophomore outside hitters, Zoe Gogan and Eli Svisco, remain the only returners to the position, the rest filled with new faces.
Prior to the beginning of the regular season, Weindel had his hands full integrating the vast freshman class with the few veterans.
“The newcomers will integrate well with the veterans. They all come from outstanding high school and club programs that have competed at a high level and been successful. They bring so much to the table that will ultimately help the program,” said Weindel. “What we are lacking is experience and an identity. Once we can figure out those two components we will be very good.”
Montana State will be looking to take down the Bulldogs (2-4) of Gonzaga University (GU) at home. When asked about any concerns or thoughts on GU, Weindel said, “ I know Gonzaga has struggled in their conference over the past few seasons. I know they are very well coached, but that is about it at this point.” The game will be hosted at Shroyer Gym at 7 p.m. on Sept. 13.