The Yellow Jacket Volleyball team has never looked so dangerous and confident in a single play. After several intense contested seconds in the second set, a N.C. Wesleyan player flies to spike, only to be greeted by the wall sophomore Colleen Beaver and senior Courtney Lowers have set. The Jackets won the points and were up 9-3. They had already won their first set 25-14 and everyone was smiling and swiftly celebrating the impressive block.
Overall, the 2014 season performance showcased why the hype for the 2015 season is real. The team had an incredible 10-1 conference record and was ranked first at the end of the season. The team came into the ODAC tournament as the number one seed. Despite falling short in the semi-finals against Lynchburg College, the 2014 team made it clear their dominating performance is consistent.
Currently, the Yellow Jackets look to an even greater season. The team has fourteen returning members of the 2014 squad, seven of which are seniors. The current seniors have been together since fall of 2012. The returning squad has skilled individual veterans, one of which is senior captain Courtney Lowers. Lowers was named All American Honorable Mentioned and was first team all-conference last season.
Regarding the seniors’ growth over the years, Lowers details that their relationship is that of a family.
“It has been an absolute blast playing with all of them,” Lowers said. “We have not only grown as a team, but we have also grown into a family and each one of these girls is like sisters to me!”
Lowers believes individual skill sets and the strong chemistry of the team will contribute in taking the first place ranking.
“We are a very strong team with a lot of talent, experience, and chemistry between us,” Lowers said. “I am very excited for our team and the accomplishments that will be achieved by everyone!”
The team also prides itself as being a unified force both on and off the field and they are very welcoming to the younger new members.
“Not only are we together on the court, but we are all constantly together off the court. Whether it is in class, eating in Estes, hanging out in each other’s rooms, or simply going to the store together, we all have a great time no matter what we are doing,” Lowers said.
Coach Bill Rogers, entering his 14th year, stated that “the best players will be on the court,” hinting that any of the players will have a chance at getting playing time.
The ODAC conference seems to also think the Yellow Jackets will be at the top of the pack. ODAC pre-season rankings currently place the Yellow Jackets at second, right behind Washington and Lee, whom the Jackets defeated last season.
The Jackets obliterated N.C. Wesleyan with confident plays throughout each set. The Jackets led ended each set with a minimum of 7 points difference. With a veteran family returning to cement its competitive legacy, this team looks to fiercely dominate the conference once more.
-Bar Hass ’16, Senior Sports Editor