By: Billy Toohey
It’s that time of year again Eagles volleyball fans, our defending conference champion Eagles are back in action! The Eagles were picked number one in the conference by the coaches, receiving 16 out of a possible 24 first place votes.
Many of the key contributors from last season are back on the court. Seniors, Candice Cuppini, Jacki Kaluzny, Molly Kovacich, Nicole Adams, Kristi Naylon, and Haley Fitzgerald return for the Eagles.
The road to the NCAA tournament will not be an easy one this season as the Eagles play many formidable opponents throughout the season, including six teams that made it to the NCAA tournament last year. They face a few of these teams early in the season. The Eagles spring into action out in California, and then come back to Illinois for a tournament up in Lake Forest College.
“My teams have always wanted to go to California. I think I finally just gave in this year,” explained Coach Jennifer Wildes. “It will be a great tournament. We have a freshman on our roster from California, and team trips are a great way to kick off the season.” The schedule this season is full of great competition, but Wildes still has a great focus with her team.
“As easy as it would be to ‘circle’ both conference and non-conference games on our schedule, we focus on not doing that,” Wildes explained. “It sounds cliché, but we really do take one day at a time. If we get too caught up in what match might be coming up, we might miss something great along the way. For us, it is about the journey, and we truly do what we can to enjoy every part of it.” Look for the Eagles to spring into action at home beginning on September 10th when they take on the Cougars of Concordia-Chicago at 7:00 p.m.