The lady Wolves hit off their volleyball season with their first conference game on September 7 against Oregon Tech. The team of 12 includes only four juniors and no seniors. However, despite being a relatively young team, their ability is evident to junior Gabrielle Browning, one of two team captains. “The team this year is scrappy, young, and driven which makes the future of the Wolves volleyball program look bright,” said Browning.
Scott Schafer, women’s volleyball head coach, notes that the team’s preseason scrimmages were against top competition and proved their commitment to growth. Schafer put emphasis on their goals to improve serving, cover their hitters, and dig up attacks from the opponent to create more opportunities to score.
Another focus for the season? Mental toughness. Browning sees the effect of attitude on the court. She says, “Overall energy can be hard to come by, but it is essential to competing and winning.” Coach Schafer also knows that new players can be impacted by the stress of the season, but he already sees the resilience and energy among the athletes. “Fans can look forward to seeing a team that plays hard and doesn't give up,” says Schafer.
The lady Wolves will continue building their skills and mindset over the coming weeks as they play several home games. Fans are invited to the games to cheer on the Wolves and a full schedule of games can be found at uwolves.com. Spectators are required to wear masks indoors.
Browning points out, “My favorite moment in a match is when someone gets a stuff block or a kill and the team comes together to celebrate, and we can hear the crowd in the background celebrating as well.”
The athletics program at Walla Walla University provides the opportunity for student athletes to develop and exercise their athletic abilities, learn leadership skills, build lasting relationships, and grow spiritually. Maintaining a mission-centered approach, the WWU athletics program promotes a healthy, balanced life—body, mind, and soul—for their athletes through sport. Athletic opportunities include men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. Learn more at uwolves.com.
Posted Sept. 13, 2021.