By Al Stover
The echo of volleyballs hitting the gym floor in the Upper Gym Room 265 is just one sign that the EWU women’s volleyball is getting ready for the 2012 fall season.
As a part of the Orland Killin fundraiser weekend, the EWU women’s volleyball team faced each other in a four-set scrimmage April 28.
Coming off of the 2011 season where they held a Big Sky Conference record of 9-7 and earned a spot in the postseason Big Sky Conference volleyball tournament, the team returned to practice after winter break.
Prior to the scrimmage, the team had competed in tournaments at Idaho and Washington State.
Several players returned to the team including team captain and All-Big Sky first team selection Cora Kellerman, All-Big Sky second team selection Shelby Puckett, middle blocker Talia Fermantez and defensive specialist Celeste Crosby, who
had been sidelined for a year and a half because of a knee injury.
For Kellerman, it has been a good experience to get back on the court and work with her teammates.
“We’re working on getting the kinks out and working into a rhythm so that when fall comes we’re in stride and ready to go,” Kellerman said.
One emphasis the team has going into the fall season is working on offense, getting as much playing time on the court and helping newer players adjust to their roles on the court.
Rachel Morrow, a freshman who redshirted in 2011, will be joining Fermantez as middle blocker.
“I learned [the position] last week in practice,” Morrow said. “The girls are supportive so it makes it easy and fun to play.”
According to assistant coach Lisa Westlake, although the team has still a ways to go before the season starts, they are learning and maturing.
“Our leadership has stepped up and that’s transferring to the younger kids on the court,” Westlake said. “Through spring they are showing tremendous strides and by fall they will be ready to go.”