” After finishing the 2008 season with a record of 11-7 ( 5-11 in MAC play), The University of Akron(UA) Volleyball team looks to make another stride towards success in the 2009 season. With Brittany Fox and Jennifer Stewart being the only seniors not returning to the team in 2009, coach Ron Arenz may find team chemistry to be a main strength.””
After finishing the 2008 season with a record of 11-7 ( 5-11 in MAC play), The University of Akron(UA) Volleyball team looks to make another stride towards success in the 2009 season.
With Brittany Fox and Jennifer Stewart being the only seniors not returning to the team in 2009, coach Ron Arenz may find team chemistry to be a main strength.
We have a strong core group of players, Arenz said. This group has been playing together for some time, the cohesion built over the last few years should definitely help.
Junior Middle Blocker Jackie Goleman is a part of the core of the team, and according to Arenz, a player to watch in the upcoming season.
I think this is going to be an instrumental season for Jackie, Arenz said. Since I’ve been here, she’s made the most progress, both in her skill set and in her competitive maturity.
Aside from the veterans of the team, Arenz also has a recruiting class of incoming freshmen that he is very optimistic about. Middle Blockers Alex Wiederholt and Paiton Twitty, Outside Hitter Ari Mewhorter, Setter Morgan Kuhn, and Defensive Specialist Chelsea Harvey will start their collegiate careers in 2009.
The incoming group is very talented and brings a variety of skills to the table, Arenz said. Every one of these incoming players have the ability to make an immediate impact on the team.
According to Arenz there is only one word that describes the attitude of the team in pre-season thus far.
Motivated, he said. They’re motivated to really have a season that they deserve through their hard work, and to show everyone in the conference that Akron Volleyball is a program to be respected.
Arenz believes that the focus of the team remains on the big picture.
Their biggest goal is to win, but at the same time, they’re a very unselfish group, he said. The seniors want to help set the table for future teams, and each class is wanting to make their own individual mark on the volleyball program.
According to Arenz, the team’s desire has been on full display in practice during the off season.
In the off season, the players have been hard to set the table for this coming season, he said. Winning a MAC Championship is definitely in sights of this group.
Arenz and his players view off the court work as being just as important as work put in on the court. The Zips were recognized by the American Volleyball Coaches Association(AVCA) for their success in the classroom.
To be awarded with an AVCA Academic Award, a team must maintain at least a 3.30 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale. The team achieved a 3.33 grade-point average to qualify them for the award for the ninth time.
The 2009 season opens with the Best Western Sycamore Classic in Terre Haute, Ind. on August 28. The Zips’ begin the tournament by playing SIU-Edwardsville.