Bulldogs Volleyball Looking to Continue Success Despite Losing Two Key Starters
UMD is returning five starters and 14 total players from last year, hoping to fill the big holes of the two seniors they lost.
DULUTH, Minn. – The UMD volleyball team is officially back on the court getting ready for the 2019 season. The Bulldogs had another successful season last year and while they only lost two players, those will be two big holes to fill.
The Bulldogs are returning four of their starters and 14 total players from last year, where they won the NSIC regular season and tournament titles, so the team feels confident that they’ll be able to fill those holes of Makenzie Morgen and Sarah Kelley and have another strong season.
“It feels like we have this conversation every year. How are we ever going to replace so and so, and someone steps up and they become the next Sarah Kelley or Makenzie Morgen. We’ve got players who got opportunities last fall, a lot of opportunities in the spring, worked hard over the summer and it’s their time to shine,” head coach Jim Boos said.
“I think it’s super helpful that we have a lot of returning players. We have some great underclassmen and juniors stepping up to the plate,” junior outside hitter Kate Berg said.
In the NSIC preseason rankings, the Bulldogs are tied for second with Concordia-St. Paul, while Northern State is ranked first. The Bulldogs know that this is going to be another tough year in conference play and that they can’t take anyone lightly.
“It’s a night in, night out grind, there are no gimmes, no easy matches. You have to prepare for each opponent and come with you’re a–game every night and if you don’t, you’re going to find yourself in the loss column,” Boos said.
“I think it’s going to be a different year in the sense that just everybody is more even slate. People lost some, people gained some, people who were younger last year are now stronger and I just think people are waiting to see what pans out,” senior setter Emily Balts added.
UMD will open the season Sept. 6 against Adelphi at the Palm Beach Atlantic Tournament, and will host Upper Iowa on Sept. 20 for the home opener.