This weekend, the WIU Volleyball team gets a peek at what they may look like in their August 30th regular season opening match against Mississippi Valley State. A road exhibition match taking place today against the Northern Illinois Huskies is the yard stick they will use headed into August 30th. With this game comes a speed-look at a team that lost 38 percent of the kills it had a year ago. This is because high impact players like Jamie Johnson, Melanie Patenaude and Shiah Sanders have graduated.
Emma Norris and Mackenzie Steckler are two players that will need to fill that role for the Leathernecks to have success.
“You can already tell a difference in the atmosphere and in the team…nothing negative, but more like a difference,” Norris said. “You can tell you are missing a big group of seniors on this team.”
This change means both bringing in the new and building leaders for the team. Steckler will be one of the girls taking a role in leadership.
“Especially now being a senior, I always felt that I needed to fulfill a leadership role,” Steckler said. “It’s going to be my last season, and I definitely feel I need to be a leader for sure. I’m excited to fill the role.”
Aside from leadership, offense and the 38 percent kill loss will be considered.
When asked if she was ready to step up and fill the space, Norris nearly answered before the question was finished.
“Oh yeah, I’m completely ready to fill the role,” Norris said. “I’ve been here 3 years and I feel like I’ve made a huge impact my last two years.”
In talking to Mackenzie and Emma, one thing was clear. They are ready to step up and lead this team in multiple ways.