The University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point women’s volleyball team is all set for the 2013 season.
The Pointers began the season ranked 25th in Division III and have experienced an up and down start, going 5-3 in early non-conference action.
The team has made many changes during the offseason, including a transition at the head coach position.
Abbey Sutherland was hired for the position and brings nine years of coaching experience from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Coach Sutherland, a West Bend native, was brought back to her home state and is excited for her new coaching experience.
“I felt really at home here,” Sutherland said on joining the UWSP athletic program. “I feel this is a place where you can be successful and that was another reason I really thought it was a good opportunity for me.”
With the departure of six seniors from last year’s team and the addition of nine freshmen to counter the loss, a focal point would naturally be in the leadership of the team.
Coach Sutherland expects a lot of leadership out of her captains, senior Allison Davis, junior Sarah Breuer and junior Alexis Hartman.
Davis, the team’s only senior, was named Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Volleyball Athlete of the Week in the Pointers opening weekend tournament.
While this is Davis’s last year, the transition to a new head coach did not seem to be a challenge for her; instead it was a new opportunity for her to develop more as a player.
“She incorporated a lot of new drills that we haven’t done before. We have to work as a team in order to succeed with those drills,” Davis said.
Coach Sutherland has a strong work ethic for the team as they are taking tasks day by day and developing through the little victories in technique and skill.
Davis is helping her younger teammates by giving them advice, encouragement, and leadership because she understands that the team is young.
“They are all really hard workers,” Davis said. “I think if we keep fighting and keep the competitive mode inside us, we’ll keep getting better. We have a lot of potential, a lot of good talent on the team. So we’ll just keep going up from where we started.”
Despite a few setbacks, the UWSP women’s volleyball team has come together and is looking for a strong 2013 performance.
With solid leadership all across the board, the Pointers hope to make this season as good as last years, if not better.
The Pointers have their first home match versus the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on September 25 at 7 p.m.