Volleyball Jumps into Preseason Camp
Aug. 8, 2007
While the weather outside may represent the "dog days" of summer, fall is quickly approaching, and Illinois State's volleyball team officially kicked off its 2007 season Wednesday by opening the preseason with the first of four, two-a-day sessions over the next six days. The Redbirds will open their season Friday, Aug. 24, when they host national powerhouse Florida at Redbird Arena.
Illinois State head coach Sharon Dingman is especially excited to get the preseason started, due to the amount of time the players have spent together on campus this summer and on their International European Tour in May.
"I'm excited about being in the gym with the players again," said Dingman. "We had such an amazing experience in Europe (May 12-25), and I haven't seen them play since then. I'm very excited about this training camp because so many of our players were here this summer to work out together, play, and do those bonding things. We will be able to go hard right from the start."
Dingman will be looking to her veteran all-Missouri Valley Conference performers for leadership during the preseason. Along with six other returning letterwinners, the Redbirds return the junior first-team all-Valley tandem of setter Erin Lindsey and right side hitter M.C. Richmond, along with senior second-team all-MVC middle blocker Kari Staehlin. Illinois State also welcomes five freshmen newcomers to the program this season.
"We have five players returning that garnered an MVC award last fall, so the experience is there, as is the leadership with Kari (Staehlin), Erin (Lindsey) and M.C. (Richmond)," said Dingman. "I know they are very excited about the season and ready to start practicing and competing. For us to accomplish some of our goals, our all-Valley players will need to play hard and well every night. The Valley is going to be very good from top to bottom this year; so we have got to be ready to perform at a very high level each time out. It is our veterans' job to lead that effort."
The Florida match on Aug. 24 is being tabbed "Spread the Red" night. Fans are encouraged to wear their red apparel, in what is anticipated to be one of the largest crowds in ISU volleyball history at Redbird Arena.