Wed, Aug. 15, 2012
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Lindsborg News Record
With the college school year about to begin, fall sports are swinging into full gear.
Coming off a 2-25 overall record in 2011, and a tenth place finish in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC), the Bethany College volleyball team is anxious to get on the court and focus on their team motto: kia ka ha, meaning "forever strong".
"Excited, ready to get started, commitment, and hard-working players describes what we feel about our team," said head coach Nathalea Stephenson, who enters her sixth year with the Swedes.
Returning eight letter winners and four starters, the Swedes feature some powerhouse returners: senior libero Shelby Brown from Taylor, Neb.; sophomore outside hitter Lacie Shoemaker of Munden, Kan.; and senior outside hitter Blake Hosey from Centennial, Colo.
"Our returners have worked very hard during the off season to get us back to where we want our team to be," Stephenson said. "There is more team unity and working toward a common goal, which is what is best for the team."
In addition to several key returners, Bethany welcomes some notable newcomers: freshman middle hitter Briana Pugh from Colorado Springs, Colo.; junior defensive specialist/libero Sarah Phelps of Hemet, Calif.; and junior middle hitter Maria Bujanda from Salina, Kan.
"We added some very talented players and are expecting some great things from them as well as the returners," said Stephenson. "I believe they will complement each other."
With the leadership of their captains: Brown, senior defensive specialist Ashley Burch of Strasburg, Colo., and junior setter Allison O'Neil of Scott City, Kan.; as well as experience from returners such as Alex Gerber, the Swedes look forward to kicking off their 2012 campaign.
"We have better team chemistry this year and an attitude of what is best for the team – unselfishness," said Stephenson. "Being able to finish things will have improved and we look forward to exciting matches."
Picked to finish ninth in the KCAC preseason coaches polls, the Swedes begin their 2012 season on Tuesday, August 28 at 7 p.m. at Manhattan Christian College.