St. Francis volleyball counting on chemistry to carry it
Building a winning team is a lot like cooking: You’ve got to add the right ingredients and let things combine
University of St. Francis (USF) head volleyball coach Cara Currier believes she has the needed ingredients and that all that’s left is letting things simmer and come together.
“There are only seven kids returning from last year,” Currier told the Will County Gazette. “We have lots of talent. We are just young and haven’t played together yet. It will take a little time to get used to playing together.”
One position Currier said will be key for the Saints this year is setter, since USF lost both of its setters to graduation.
“Anytime you have new setters -- and we have two new setters -- it takes time for the setters and the hitters to learn each other and build that chemistry," she said.
While the majority of the roster will be newcomers, Currier is counting on a few experienced players to buoy the team while it builds chemistry.
“I hope Leah Alles and Brenna Perinar will have big years for us,” Currier said. “I think that JoAnna Nowicki should be an important player as well. I think those three should give solid contributions and help carry the team.”
Last season, Alles was a top player for the Saints and named to the all-American team. She was also named Mideast libero of the year.
The Saints are coming off a strong season that saw them finish with a 32-13 overall record and a 16-3 record in conference play. The team made it to the NAIA national tournament in Sioux City, Iowa.
While Currier is hopeful for another solid season, she said a lot of the team’s success will depend on how well the players come together and work as a team. The preseason for USF got underway in mid-August, and Currier said she will have a better idea of how the team will perform after a few games.
“I’m excited for the season to get underway for the team to have a chance to play against someone other than ourselves,” Currier said. “The preseason will be a good measuring stick to show us what we need to work on and give us an idea of how we are doing so far.”
The Saints will take part in a few tournaments at the end of August, then get its conference season underway on Sept. 2 against Governors State University. USF’s regular season will run until early November, when it wraps up against Indiana University Northwest. The conference tournament will kick off on Nov. 7.
To view the Saint’s schedule or purchase tickets, visit www.gofightingsaints.com.