Comets working toward sixth ASC championship victory this season
With five new freshmen, the volleyball team is preparing to compete for a possible sixth ASC championship.
The Comets opened the season with the Gargoyle Classic at the University of Chicago, finishing 2-2 in the tournament. Senior outside hitter and defensive specialist Jillian Via led the team in kills for three of the four games with a total of 54 kills.
UTD’s volleyball team has won three out of the past four ASC championships. This year, the team has four returning seniors. Head coach Marci Allison, who has been with the team since its inception in 2004, said the seniors add a good amount of leadership to the team.
“We have four seniors and all of them have started for us at some point in the program … We’ve got some freshmen that are gonna have some heavy time,” Allison said. “They’re super competitive, so it’s nice to have those guys added to the returners that are already in the successful situation they’ve been in previously.”
There’s been an adjustment period for the new freshmen, Allison said.
“It’s super different coming into our program,” she said. “I teach at a very mental level. Lots and lots to learn so it can be pretty overwhelming for them once they get here … but inevitably when they just figure out you’re just playing volleyball you’re just adding some things to it. We have some that have some really good club experience, so they’re catching on really quickly.”
Senior setter and defensive specialist Caroline Shecterle said the team’s biggest goal is to get closer and connect to one another.
“We have four seniors, one junior and the rest are freshmen and sophomores. We also have a bit of a smaller team. But I think that’s good because it allows us to be super close together,” Schecterle said. “Having the younger (players) and bringing them onto our level has been really helpful.”
Allison said she hopes to win the ASC championship and return to the regional championship.
“It wasn’t that long ago that we were in a regional championship match and unfortunately lost that match and so that’s I hope where our returners want to get back to,” Allison said.
The team was eliminated in the regional finals of the NCAA Division III national tournament by a five-set loss.
Criminology Senior Lauren Schilling said this season, her last, will be bittersweet. Schilling said the program has changed in the past four years, but that she has always been proud of how well they’ve fought.
“Freshman year my biggest goal was winning ASC championship, which we did in my freshman and sophomore years, but we came up short last year,” Schilling said. “The one goal I really want to have is to win a regional championship.”