Eagles volleyball gets ready for postseason push 

With the end of October and the start of November, it means that postseason volleyball is on its way.  

At the beginning of the year, Kirkwood Community College hired a new head coach, Dave Brown. The Eagles started the season being ranked number six where they lost their season opener but immediately followed up with 11 straight wins starting the season strong while also going 14-5 in September.  

In the final month of the regular season the Eagles have been red hot finishing the season up 11-1, moving up to fifth in the rankings with a final regular season record of 30-7, finishing with a conference record of 11-1. 

The Eagles have a very young team as most of their impact players are freshman this year. Emma Meester expressed how it feels going into the playoffs for the first time. 

“Obviously [I’m] nervous cause you have a big role to fill but it’s also really exciting cause the more I’ll play the more set I’ll feel and I guess [to] surprise people cause it’s always fun to see people’s reactions,” she said. 

With the 30 wins this year, the Eagles would have their best single season winning percentage going into the playoffs since 2013, surpassing many expectations. 

Brown said, “It’s the girls. It’s not me. I come with the design and things I want to do and work at but they’re the ones on the court so all the credit goes to them. They stepped up, they’ve handled my coaching style and they’ve definitely risen to the challenge. They surpassed my expectations and they make me look better than I probably am.” 

This season, the Eagles were led by big four Emma Cross, Grace Embretson, Lily Van Severen and Sydney Matthias. Cross led the team in kills, with 371 on the season. Matthias led the team in assists with 865 and Embretson having 360 being limited early in the year with a PCL injury.  

Van Severen led the team in digs with 540 on the year, and led all freshman in conference. She said, “It’s super exciting to have that honor but I wouldn’t be there without being challenged in practice. I’m going up against the best hitters so that prepares me [the most] for games and just working hard in practice.” 

The goal for the Eagles is to win it all. Region 11 semifinals and finals on are Nov. 4-5. If they win, they play throughout the week Nov. 16 – 18 in the national championship in the Alliant Energy Powerhouse in Cedar Rapids.

Coach Dave Brown on how the team has surpassed expectations on the year. 

“It’s interesting volleyball is such a long season, it’s more games than I’ve ever played in my career. So it’s kind of managing expectations, because throughout the season,  you’re gonna have unexpected things [like] injuries, people stepping up, people having to step up. 

So I just learned to manage my expectations pretty quickly. But I would say that this team has definitely surpassed what I thought was possible for our first season together with some really key wins over top 10 opponents, a win over the number 1 ranked team. And numbers aren’t important but it basically shows us a reflection of our progress so I’m glad I can see that but they’ve been doing an amazing job.”

Image courtesy of Jaysie Wood | Kirkwood Communiqué

Categories: Sports, Volleyball