Volleyball Returns Veteran Squad For 2017 Season
Aug 29, 2017
DUBUQUE, Iowa – The University of Dubuque volleyball team is set to begin their 2017 campaign this weekend at the Lake Forest Tournament. The Spartans will play four games over September 1st and 2nd, beginning at 4:00 p.m. on September 1st against Aurora University.
The Spartans finished the 2016 season with a 15-17 record overall and 2-6 in the Iowa Conference, just missing out on the Iowa Conference Tournament. UD returns a majority of their top talent from the 2016 team as they only lost one senior to graduation. Eight of the nine players that played in at least 90 of the total 116 sets played last season, return for the 2017 season.
"Losing only one starter from last season, our strength will be in our experience this fall, said UD head coach April Elsbernd. “Our four seniors will provide tremendous leadership for our returning and talented incoming class. We are very excited for Iowa Conference play; as always, it's going to be a fight each and every match."
Karrah Davis enters her senior season after leading the Spartans 415 kills and 1324 total attacks in 2016. She was also second on the team with 356 digs. Along with Davis, there are three more student-athletes back for their senior season. Lauren Egnarski, Meagon Albon and Alyssa Cose combined for 289 kills, 447 digs and 1056 assists. Cose led the Spartan attack with 1043 assists on the year.
To go along with the four seniors, there are five juniors that should play a significant impact for UD. Jenna Runde, a defensive specialist, played 115 sets in her sophomore season and held down the Spartan defense with 479 digs and averaged 4.17 sets. Outside hitter, Kendall Kauffman, saw action in 94 sets in 31 matches and was second on the team with 193 kills in 641 attempts. Kauffman was solid on the defensive end as well, coming up with 27 blocks and 80 digs. Johanna Steggall and Anna Grace played in 111 and 107 sets, respectively. Runge was third on the team with 186 kills, while Steggall was fifth with 257 digs on the defensive end.
Even with all the upperclassmen and returners, the Spartans will feature 14 freshmen on their roster. The Spartans will have 10 home varsity matches in the 2017 season.
2017 IIAC Volleyball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Wartburg (7) 21-6, 7-1 IIAC
2. Luther 21-8, 6-2 IIAC
3. Coe (1) 23-11, 5-3 IIAC
4. Nebraska Wesleyan (1) 15-14, 5-3 IIAC
5. Loras 12-8, 2-6 IIAC
T6. Central 14-15, 4-4 IIAC
T6. Buena Vista 14-14, 4-4 IIAC
8. Dubuque 15-17, 2-6 IIAC
9. Simpson 11-16, 1-7 IIAC