The WIU volleyball team has been working hard all season. Although they have had a challenging season with a 4-17 record, they have improved a lot and are not backing down any time soon.
The WIU volleyball team has a lot of potential; many have watched the players’ progress as the season continues. I interviewed WIU Head Volleyball Coach April Hall to learn more about the team. Coach Hall explained that sometimes the girls’ beliefs hold them back.
“We are capable of so much, and I know when we can all buy into that 100% of the time, we’ll take the rest of conference play by storm,” said Hall.
Hall explained the team’s strengths and weaknesses to me. “We have all of the tools we need in every position with some experienced student-athletes on the court. There’s not a single position that we are weak in, even with Sam Fournier setting for the first time in her career as a volleyball player! She’s doing a fantastic job and is leading this team to a championship. You couldn’t ask for a more talented and experienced group, and I know it’s going to come together for us starting this weekend and going into the second round of conference. I honestly think our biggest weakness is our belief that we can do it. We are working toward turning that into a strength; however, and are starting to see our hard work and focus pay off,” said Hall.
There is one game, in particular, that showed that our WIU Leathernecks can do anything they put their mind to. Their game against Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) was a game that no one can forget. That night, the team’s energy was palpable. I have no doubt in my mind that if the team played every game with the energy and determination they had that night, they would win the rest of their games from here on out. Coach Hall explained that this win against IPFW is her favorite memory.
“We have plenty of fun moments that occur in practice and off the court, but my best memory so far would be our win against IPFW. It’s not just because it was a win, either, it’s because of how we won. In my three years here at WIU, that win was the first time I’ve seen us take it to a great team and not let up. We kept pushing harder and harder, even when our lead was huge in the third set. The attitude on the court that our team was exuding was unbelievable. I looked at them prior to the match and just knew something special was about to happen. I still get goose bumps just thinking about it,” said Hall.
The WIU volleyball team is a very talented and experienced group that can win matches. Coach Hall explained to me that she believes they are capable of beating anyone in the league.
A player that has stood out this year and really led the team on the court is Ann Miller. Coach Hall explained that she has enjoyed watching Miller develop from her freshman year until now. “Ann is the type of student-athlete you hope for: she has good grades, is a good person, is coachable and works with her whole heart and soul on the volleyball court. She’s a true competitor that wants to win and will not stop until this team is successful. This has been a standout senior year for her, and I know it will continue to keep getting better,” said Hall.
Coach Hall wants readers to know they appreciate the support of Western alumni and friends. “Without the past, we would not be where we are today, and we are so grateful for the amazing group of alumni who helped pave the way for this program today. Keep up on us – the best is yet to come!” said Coach Hall.
Read more about the WIU Volleyball Team and view their schedule at http://www.goleathernecks.com/index.aspx?path=wvball. You can also like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WesternIllinoisUniversityVolleyball.