The Panther volleyball team is beginning its season under the new leadership of ECC Head Volleyball Coach Ashley Clark. Clark is excited for what the season will bring and the girls she has on her team.
"Things are going really well so far," says Coach Clark. "We are improving at a rapid pace and the girls' positive energy is really coming through. I've never had a team that generates its own energy level so well. They are hungry for the wins."
Along with the team's positive energy, Clark has high hopes and goals for the team this year. The Panthers are hoping to have good stats from the service line, improve passing and ball control and finish 500 in the conference and a goal of finishing 6th out of 9 if not higher. Clark also has hopes for her team off the court. "I really want the girls to get involved on campus and in the community. Volleyball is a short stint in life and I'm hoping these girls develop as people not just athletes."
The Panthers are looking to their sophomores for leadership on the court. ECC has four returners who have had quite a bit of playing time and will hopefully lead the team this year. "Mary Goergen has great all around ball control and is a heavy hand terminator. She was voted unanimous team captain," commented Clark. "April Jones is a work horse. She puts her head down and works hard and is always aiming for perfection. Along with Goergen and Anna Smith, they are the positive forces that the team feeds off of." The team's returning libero, Paolo Soto is also a consistent positive presence on the floor. "Soto is a fireball! She is quick and always competitive."
The Panthers have only two freshmen, Tiffany Jacobson and Carlin Whelpley, on the team but Clark has high expectations for them. "Jacobson will have a major impact in the middle or outside, depending on where we need her. She works hard and has good ball control," said Clark. "Whelpley is scrappy and quick. She will dig a lot of ball and will play a major role for our team. Moving forward I can see building the team around them."
ECC played their first games this season on the road in the Ridgewater College Tournament. The team lost their first set in 4 with a 25-23 win and then losses 18-25, 19-25 and 23-25. "I can already tell with this team that the season is going to go well. Even if things are not going well they will pull together and find a way to work as a group."
Photo Caption: 2015 ECC Volleyball Team