Volleyball aims for strong season finish


Colbie Fairley

Setter sophomore Gracie Wood sets up middle-blocker sophomore Allisyn Frank for a spike.

Baker’s volleyball season is nearing its end with only six events left. The team so far this season is 6-17 and 4-10 in conference play. The team looks to finish the season strong after adversity earlier in the season and off-season.

There was a coaching change this past off-season with Coach Nils Nielsen taking over for the previous Coach Matt Windle. This season’s team is also very young, as there are only six juniors and seniors combined on a roster of 21 players. But that hasn’t stopped Nielsen and the players from being positive about the season.

“Overall I am very happy with how the season has gone and it has changed the way I approach the game,” Nielsen said. “There have been a lot of challenges this year, but we have overcome them and are playing really well right now.”

Nielsen also explains that his goal is to both keep learning the game so he can become a better coach and to help the team reach its fullest potential every season to help build a culture within the team.

Senior Savannah Nott says that while the season has been rough, she points out that there have been improvements in play and the culture of the team as the season has gone on. She says the coaching change has helped them improve.

“The switch was good, we interviewed coaches as a board of players, and we were able to select a coach who would be beneficial to our program and make a good change to the team,” Nott said.

Another thing that has helped the team culture is the fact that they have fewer upperclassmen than usual. Nott explains that due to that, the underclassmen have been able to feel “less disconnected” and have room to become “leaders and really step up.”

The culture of the team has been shifting this season as younger players are learning from the small upperclassmen and stepping up to be leaders on the team. Sophomore Allisyn Frank explains that the team is improving on and off the court as the season goes along.

“We battled through a lot of adversity this season, with the coaching change, injuries, and sicknesses,” Frank said. “Even if our record doesn’t reflect it, we have made a lot of progress in our performance on the court, but also our culture as a team.”

Nielsen has noticed this improvement on the court explaining that there has been “a change to their approach to the game”  and that the “leaders are coming into their own.” He also pointed out that the assistant coaches have been helpful to the team’s development this year.

“Emily Dalton has been a huge help and brings in a lot of knowledge on volleyball and on the conference,” Nielsen said. “Kristen Oberzan has also done a good job with a team that is always learning.” 

The Baker volleyball team looks to continue improving their game and culture as the season is coming to a close. They have two games left in the year as their next game is set to be in Parkville, Mo. against Park University at 7 p.m. on Oct. 27.