A Young Team with 10 New Faces and High Aspirations
August 12, 2013
By: Brittany Roth, sports information assistant
During the 2012 season, the Beavers had a record of 17-14 and were 5-4 in the HCAC. When reflecting on last year and looking into this upcoming season, Coach Yarnell stated, “We were a very young team last year that had a great deal of athleticism. Those raw athletes have begun to develop into college volleyball players and that process has been exciting to watch.”
The athletes worked hard in the off season both physically and mentally. “The team had a good spring season and were able to hone in on single item focus training and work on various parts of their game,” Yarnell commented. The team also gained insight and inspiration by having a book club over Jon Gordon’s The Energy Bus. Coach Yarnell explained, “This was something new that we tried and will incorporate it with our incoming class to build team unity.” Mentally we are expecting the players to have a more positive outlook on experiences they go through which will allow them to apply this attitude to various aspects of their life. The Beavers ended their Spring season by hosting a tournament in April. “We hosted a trial run for our opening tournament and got a chance to compete in our new home, the Sommer Center,” Coach Yarnell said.
With the 2013 volleyball season quickly approaching, ninth-year Head Coach Steve Yarnell is busy preparing for the team’s first regular season in the Sommer Center. Bluffton’s new athletic complex was finished in November 2012 and will allow Bluffton to open up their season on August 30 and 31 with a home tournament. The Sommer Center Spiketacular will be a quality tournament with highly competitive teams that are within the Great Lakes Region.
Being led by captains Hailey Phillips (Malinta/Patrick Henry) and Lindsay Krohn (Marysville, Ind./New Washington), we have high expectations for this year’s team. After graduating two seniors, Heather Schierer and Brooke Distel, the team will be made up of 10 returners and 10 newcomers.
Commanding our offense will be two sophomore setters: Brooke Ruffer (Stryker) returns for her sophomore stint and will be transitioning from an outside hitter to a being a dual threat as a setter/hitter. A transfer from Montreat College, Sara Roth (Findlay/Van Buren) will be vying for the other setting position along with sophomore Fallon Collins (Miamisburg).
Leading Bluffton's offense in the middle will be returning sophomore Jenny Brown (St. Marys/Memorial) who was named to the All-Freshman Team and also received HCAC First Team honors following the 2012 season. Brown had a team best .262 hitting percentage and was second on the Beaver squad with 250 kills. Junior Ashley Litwiller (Hopedale, Ill./Olympia) and freshmen Adrienne Shephard (Arlington) and Jessica Boggan (Cincinnati/Princeton) will be competing for the other middle position.
The outside positions of both left and right have tons of depth and should make the preseason fun to coach and train. Returning sophomore and kills leader from 2012 with 306 winners, Kendra Parmenter (Grove City) will be training on the outside along with senior Hailey Phillips, junior Emily Broughton (Lewisburg/Tri-County North), and freshmen Dana Grenig (Parma/Lutheran West), Jordyn Webb (Arlington), Kayleigh Caito (Baltimore/North Union), Lauren Weisgarber (Bolivar/Tuscarawas Valley) and Mackenzie McFarlin (Ashland).
The Beaver defense will be led by seniors Hailey Phillips and Lindsay Krohn. Returning junior Kimberly Perry (West Alexandria/Twin Valley South) and sophomores Sarah Pridemore (Springfield/Greenon) and Fallon Collins will also add depth to the position. Three freshmen will be joining these four returners on defense throughout the season: Shelbi Kaufman (Bellefontaine), Marissa Krier (Massillon/Central Christian) and Dana Grenig.
The Beavers have a tough schedule this season with only six home matches in addition to their home opening tournament. The HCAC Preseason Poll that was recently announced gave Bluffton 60 points which tied them with Rose-Hulman and placed Bluffton 5th in the conference. Mount St. Joseph, Transylvania, Defiance, and Hanover were all ranked in that particular order. Named players to watch were Hailey Phillips, Lindsay Krohn, Jenny Brown, Brooke Ruffer and Kendra Parmenter. Coach Yarnell commented “The schedule put before this team is a challenging one with quality competition from start to finish. It is imperative that we go about our business on a daily basis to ensure we are mentally and physically prepared for the challenges in our path of becoming a better volleyball team each and every time we step on the court. This squad screams of athleticism and they are a bright group of young ladies who I know can achieve great things when we work together as a group."