Volleyball Finishes Spring Schedule
April 28, 2010
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland volleyball team concluded its spring tournament schedule this month. After four tournaments, head coach Tim Horsmon knows the Terps accomplished the goals they had set forth and are on the right path for a successful 2010 season.
"We had a list of things that needed to be addressed for our team to be successful this spring and also get us ready for next year," Horsmon said. "I think we did a good job of improving on each of those facets. We improved within our system as well as individually. Our ball handling and specifically serve-receive is much improved and our players have a better understanding of the roles that they need to fulfill on this team."
Maryland's first tournament of the spring slate was at Virginia Commonwealth. The Terrapins saw success on the court and played their way in to the top half of the bracket, facing teams such as North Carolina, Duke and Virginia Tech. Following the trip to VCU, the Terps headed to the Kentucky-Indiana Volleyball Association tournament in Louisville, Ky. Highlighting the trip was a match-up with Michigan State. Maryland split the first two games with the Spartans but dropped a heartbreakingly close third set.
The third weekend saw Maryland host a tournament of their own which included teams like William & Mary, George Mason, Towson and Loyola. The Terps notched six wins that day out of eight played.
In the concluding tournament of the spring for the Terrapins, they played their best volleyball, splitting all matches during the day. They faced teams like Northwestern, Cincinnati and Ohio State. OSU was receiving votes in the CBS College Sports Network/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 and is one of the top programs, along with Northwestern, from the Big 10. The Bearcats were at the top of the Big East conference standings in 2009. George Mason, Ohio State and Cincinnati all took part in the NCAA tournament.
Not only did the Terrapins have a chance to compete against top-notch teams, they also had their first matches with the team's newest additions, assistant coach Mitch Kallick and volunteer assistant coach Krista Valdivia. Kallick spent two seasons on the Cal-Fullerton coaching staff and served as the program's primary recruiting coordinator. On the court, he was responsible for working with the outside hitters and defensive specialists. Valdivia was an All-American setter for Michigan Tech from 1993-96 and has 12 years of coaching experience, 10 as a head coach at Michigan Tech. She led the team to two NCAA appearances and coached 20 All-conference players.
"I believe Mitch and Krista did an outstanding job of revamping our blocking system. I think we really affected teams this spring, changing how they would play us," Horsmon said.
Horsmon also commented on the strides individual players made this spring:
"I'm really excited about the improvement that Remy McBain made in the setting position. Her location and decision making was outstanding through the latter part of the spring. I also think Lisa Scott made strides to be a real impact player next fall. Michelle Kenning looks like she is coming back strong from her knee surgery and had some great attacking days. Bethany Springer, Mo Odom and Samantha Rosario also became much more consistent in serve-receive and defensively. I think every player looks much better and more confident in what they're doing. Our players seem to have a better understanding of how to really compete and are having much more fun on the volleyball court."
Coach Horsmon knows the team's overall improvement is going to really challenge their opponents more this upcoming season. With hard work in the summer and a talented incoming class, which includes Mary Cushman a high school All-American and the Gatorade New York Player of the Year, the Terrapins will be a bigger, better force to be reckoned with.
The performance of the Maryland squad against talented teams this spring showed competition and fans alike that the Terrapin volleyball team can play with anyone.
"I'm excited for these players and for them to see all of the great opportunities in front of them," Horsmon said. "Because of their hard work this spring and commitment to this program, I think we are on the cusp of being one of the best team's Maryland has seen."