IU East Volleyball – 2017 Season Preview

IU East Volleyball – 2017 Season Preview


and welcome back to inside iue sports
it’s time to talk about volleyball with it being just around the corner and
joining me to do so is head coach Abby Niekamp coach thanks for joining me
today thanks for having me well I’ll just start off by telling us a little
bit about the team that’s coming in this year obviously a younger team
with only three returning players it’s also learn about them and what you
expect to see out of them this year yeah so unfortunately we’re super young this
year but fortunately we have a really good group of girls coming in we
actually had the time to really handpick all these recruits this year two
transfers eight freshmen it’s been an exciting couple of weeks since we got
started with them I think they’re going to surprise a lot of people the way that
they’re playing together the way that they mesh I think I think we have a good
year ahead of us and what the practices you’ve had so far what are you seeing
out of them a lot of effort and work ethic and that’s a huge component that
we look for in this class is just our work ethic and the type of work ethic
that they bring together team mindset is huge with this group they’re ready to do
their own work but really the work that helps out the rest of the team so you
know like I said it’s going to be a special group this year and how does
that compare to team’s past I think what you know in the couple years I’ve been
here we’ve always been missing one thing I felt like oh we have we have the right
setter we have the right hitter we have you know the right libero here on the
team and just one piece was just was just always off so I think this year
just the vibe and the clicking together as a whole unit instead of you know
individuals is a lot different and talk a little bit about that I know you’ve
had several different team addings and a lot of team bonding time how are they
seeing to mesh together compared to the other teams you got into that the first
week you know I was nervous going into it with so many new people and they just
came out and they just had so much fun and they embrace all the opportunities
where I think some groups in the past been hesitant not sure like not ready to
step outside their comfort zone and these girls don’t have a problem doing
that as soon as I ask them to do something or
put them in groups for any fun activity that we’re doing they just go full steam
ahead with it which i think is awesome it’s been over
pleasant surprise to have that from this group all right well let’s go ahead and
talk a little bit about your roster this year I’ll start off by talking about
Haley Langenkamp from Celina Ohio I know who alright you’re from
there I know I know yep so Haley is from my hometown
different high schools but just you know the caliber of kid that you get in that
area back home I’ve tried to have at least one of those on the team every
year her work ethic is great she’s raw we’re kind of changing a lot
with her as IDs but she hasn’t awesome serve and she just went through out
there and get better every single day anything else like that about her just
excited to have her on the team all right how about another freshman uh
Samantha Wakefield from Fort Wayne Sam played with Bre up in Snider in Fort
Wayne I know High School in Fort Wayne and she
was uh she was one of our kids that really surprised surprised me whenever
we picked her up because she is just a phenomenal defensive specialist her
passing is on point she has an awesome platform and she always gets it on the
ball defensively she comes out of nowhere she reads really well and then
she just picks everything up so she’s a great addition to our team this year I
joked around with her a little bit about she’s gonna have a lot of broadcast time
because his team seems to be the team storytellers ooh yeah show that either
she it’s you know we talked about the whole group in general they just have so
much fun together and she’s one of those key components she’s always laughing
she’s always gosh I can be you know off in the corner planning practice and I
can hear her laugh over everyone else’s she just loves to have a good time but
her work ethic matches that ability to have fun so she’s a you know has a great
combination there right also sophomore out of Indian Lake Ohio Michele Grider
tell us what her Michele is a transfer from st. Joseph’s College that closed
here in Indiana you know after we heard that they were closing we reached out
right away to help find those kids kids at home I transferred after my freshman
year so I understand what the process is like but I chose that and she didn’t and
so we really wanted to offer offer a hand there Michele this was a good fit
for her because it’s so close to home she’s about hour and a half away from
home but she’s just she radiates such enthusiasm and such positivity
and she’s a utility utility player she can play outside or middle
so whenever added her to the roster it was kind of you know like she can fit in
anywhere a returning senior Madison Yoder out of Indianapolis yep so I have
two seniors on the team this year Yoder is one of them obviously she she just
works her tail off in the gym she loves to be a leader out on the court you know
hoping so many of these younger freshmen we have a lot of ds’s on the team this
year so she’s kind of stepping up and showing them showing them the ropes and
setting the example of what needs to be done in practice all right another right
side an outside hitter from Newburgh Indiana Lexi’s entry another question
yes Lexie is going to surprise a lot of people she kind of flew under the radar
in high school and club but she is this huge wingspan and she just like I said
she’s about you know a few of the other girls she’s just so happy all the time
and so positive and that is a kid that I could tell to tell her to run through
brick wall and she would she just worked so hard and she has so much fun with our
teammates doing it so we’re hoping to see her on the outside this year all
right moving on from there another freshman from right here in Richmond
Peyton Farris yes Peyton Peyton came to us a little bit later she we found her
in the summer she just really wanted to be a part of the team and like I keep
saying work ethic is the key in this group and she definitely brought it she
approached me for she took initiative and she said coach I want to do this I
want to be part of the team I love volleyball she doesn’t have all the
skills yet but she’s so willing to learn and I’m just ready to help out all right
next up the other senior bailey gates yes Bailey
unfortunately for Bailey we’ve moved her around a ton kind of found her home and
on the right side last year so we looked up for her to fill that position again
just you know she helped set the tone in practice of how hard people were working
so these younger kids that want to work that hard turn your door kind of sent in
the tone for them alright from there another freshman out of Indianapolis
Kelsey Farrell yes Kelsey Kelsey is also a role player but
so athletic she takes after her older brother yogi Ferrell with athleticism
and she is just you know she’s she’s a beam of light in the gym
because she worked so hard but she’s so willing for feedback and she asked for
the feedback so she’s going to go pretty far here for us all right Sophie Rogers
out of Kokomo another freshman yep so so if he’s a Kokomo pick up for us she has
kind of played outside a little bit of right side
I think her home for us is going to be in the middle she’s so tall she’s a
great blocker she can just get her hand so far over the net so she she will play a
big role in our defensive scheme this year with her being from the hometown of
another conference school IU Kokomo I would like to be able to get her instead of
them getting her I don’t know that Sophia ever wanted to
stay at home so I’m not sure if she was being recruited by them but I don’t
think she you know she was giving much thought to that she just wanted to kind
of get out and she found us really early and started the recruiting process with
us early and she was just was such a such a good follower as a recruit you
know we love to get recruits at games and have them stay in touch with what
we’re doing and she was one of those kids she is just such a red wolf fan
herself so to be on the red wolf you know it was pretty awesome for her out
of West Lafayette how about Taylor McKinney Taylor Taylor I recruited her
more of the DS she has phenomenal ball control very
scrappy on defense but this past club season she really picked up with her
heading she’s a lefty right side and she a little bit shorter but she has such
great shots and she’s you know she’s her so we’re not quite sure where she’s
fitting in yet either but I you know the freshman we can teach her all the skills
and kind of see where she fits in all right another question out of Kalamazoo
Michigan Danielle Mitchell yes Danny is one of our
setters that kid is so athletic I am I took over the setters this year setting
coach so I get one-on-one you know interaction with her every day at
practice and she just you know I keep saying it but her work ethic her
positivity just fits in so well with this group she’s so natural on the court
and when when she came to us she was actually a little bit too strong we had
to you know reel her in a little bit as far as her sets but she’s picking up our
offense really quickly yeah and I think we have a battle for
our setter position right now all right now how about returning sophomore Bre
Kopke Bre was an outside force last year she’s returning in that position
she has such a heavy arm swing she hits such a hard ball we really worked with
her in the offseason with her shot being able to place the ball in different
spots on the court changed a little bit with her approach to open up more shots
for her so hopefully she’ll you know be more of an offensive threat for us this
year last but not least how about Maria
brasel yeah Maria came to us as a transfer from a JUCO in Illinois she’s a
tall setter and that’s what really attracted me to Maria and her ability to
run offense she is doing awesome in practice right now she is a very
strong-minded individual so the harder I push her the more I get back from her
and I’m really looking forward to seeing you know where offense can go with her
her taking lead all right well let’s go ahead and talk a little bit about the
schedule that you’ve got this year we’ll talk about conference here in a minute
but what you’ve got a lot of tournaments you’re going to early on in the season
tell us about those yes so we chose a couple tournaments at our local we’re
going to Huntington in Indiana Wesleyan and you know Wesleyan always has great
competition their top 25 ranked teams so they bring in a lot of top 25 ranked
teams to play against them their tournament is always pretty stacked with
competition so you know we don’t have to go far for competition which is always
nice it’s a lot easier on our kids to travel and then we’re taking a trip down
to life right outside of Atlanta Georgia as one of our further trips we like to
get get away a little bit and you know see see different teams and we normally
see so I changed up the tournament’s that we are going to this year to maybe
get some different teams on the schedule now at the IWU tournament you’re
actually going to be having some conference competition there as well
right yes and it’s speaking of the conference competition you’re going to
have this year what are some of those that you have circled on the calendar
already well we always Circle Kokomo they have just the past couple years
just have stepped in front in this conference and it’s you know it’s so
great to see how strong our conference is getting volleyball wise but they have
been one that we’ve always wanted to be you know they’re not far from us so
definitely that one Asbury came on really strong at the end of the
season last year in our conference tournament and then Point Park is always
out there in the front so you know those are ones that we’re really looking
forward to this year that we have circled we’re actually playing Kokomo
when we go to Indiana Wesleyan which I think will is definitely a good thing
for this young group because they just don’t know what to expect conference
wise yet and I think it’s going to give them give them a really good indication
before we actually head into conference play you talked about the teams like
Point Park IU Kokomo and Asbury are typically frontrunners of the conference
what’s it going to take for a team to be able to beat those teams this year just
a really solid team chemistry I think last year we really had a shot
talent-wise but we just had a few chemistry issues that just we were just
weren’t clicking as a team and you know sometimes that happens but I think just
really strong team that comes comes together and just fight fights until the
game’s over and doesn’t give up all right anything else you’d like to add
either about the schedule or your team this year I’m just really excited to get
the season going we’ve been in practice for a week now and have we’ve had the
girls on campus for about three weeks so I’m just I’m ready to get going alright tell
us about the first home game that you’re going to have at the student events and
activity center okay so we’re playing Marian August 30th here at home we get
them on the schedule every single year they’re such good competition last year
we fell to them at home so we’re looking forward to having a rematch with them at
home and it’s a lot earlier in the season so I think that if we can get out
in front of them early on it’ll set a really good tone for the rest of the
season all right looking forward to it all
thanks for your time today and telling us about your team and we’re looking
forward to another great season thank you all right well there you have it
from iu-east volleyball head coach Abby Niekamp talking what about her team
and the schedule for this upcoming year getting the first home match of the
season scheduled for August 30th at the IU student events and activity center
we’ll take a quick break and be right back with more inside iu e sports

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