The Lady Warriors of the California State University, Stanislaus volleyball team have gone through some rough patches over the years, but head coach Christina Lore is determined to change that.
Lore has a long road ahead, as the 2013 Warrior squad finished with a 7-23 overall record, mainly due to the team's youth and lack of stamina. The team was so young that all starters were freshmen and sophomores, the only two seniors were in rotation but did not start.
In 2014, the Warriors will not have a single senior on the squad and will already make up one of the younger teams in the conference and state.
“I know one of the biggest issues we had last fall was not being in shape,” said Lore. “We couldn’t last five sets and the season took a toll on the freshmen, so in spring we pushed on conditioning and focused on that and have new markers for conditioning.”
Finishing dead last in the California Collegiate Athletic Association standings was not something the Warriors expected or strived for, but the conference is made up of some really tough teams and the inexperienced Warriors just couldn’t put it together late in games.
“Obviously, finishing last in conference was something we didn’t strive for, but what summed it up for us is that we have something to build on,” said Lore.
The team really found it difficult to close out contests as they dropped nine straight to end the season, with only one of those matches not ending in straight sets.
“The girls are hungry to win and really pushing themselves right now,” Lore said.
With a team that has only two upperclassmen, it will take some growing pains but behind now sophomore Blair Ehrlich, the Warriors should be in decent hands.
There will be seven incoming freshmen that should help an already stacked underclassmen group.
“I think Blair [Ehrlich] is someone who is coming back and if she stays on track she will break all records by the end of her career,” said Lore.
Leading the way as a libero is sophomore Sarah Crowl, who was the CCAA leader in digs per set with 5.47 and was fourth in total digs (552).
“We have great leadership in Jordan Harris, one of the captains, and she's kind of gotten the fire in her belly and wants to prove herself this year,” Lore added. “You can always touch on everyone on our team since it’s a team sport the biggest thing is we're young and will be different this fall and we have a very talented group of athletes on court and in the classroom. This is the year for people to come out and watch us play.”
The Warriors begin their season against Central Washington at noon Sept. 4 in the Wildcat Invitational in Washington.