Volleyball squad set for Classic

Curtis Leeth

The 2009 version of the Lady Blues volleyball team may have many new faces, but the team is still ready for the Oredigger Volleyball Classic this weekend.

The tournament takes place in Golden, Colo., and features opponents Western State and Adams State at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Friday and Mesa State and Fort Lewis College at 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for the Lady Blues this season is incorporating the team’s many new faces: six freshmen are a part of the squad this year. The fountain of youth on the team does not bother junior defensive specialist Molly Smith, however.

“[The freshmen] are a very talented group,” said Smith. “They are creating a very good, competitive atmosphere, and hopefully they will make us the best we can be.”

Smith emphasized the upcoming tournament as a chance for the team to find chemistry before conference play begins. Time is short, though, as the Lady Blues’ final opportunity to prepare for the season is Thursday, when the squad will be able to watch two of their future tournament opponents play each other.

Smith said incorporating the new freshmen into the squad is imperative given freshmen will have minutes at every position this season. She remains confident in the squad for the upcoming tournament.

“Right now, I think we will be a very competitive team,” said Smith. “I think we are going to do really well.”

The sole senior on the squad this year, center Kate Hampson will be returning home to Colorado for the game, which she said her family will attend. Hampson’s leadership will be key for the many freshmen on the team, three of whom, McKayla Gowen, Abby Wittman and Sami McHenry, are being redshirted this season by the squad.