After finishing one of their best seasons in program history, the West Chester women’s volleyball team will look to turn it into 2008 glory. However, it will be an uphill climb as the team was picked to finish fourth in the PSAC East. Having made the playoffs in each of the last three seasons, the Lady Rams look to make it four years running. The last two of those campaigns were under head coach Kassie Bellaver who, in her only two years at the program, has known nothing less than the postseason.
On the court, the team is led by senior all-league setter Lisa Yeasted, who had 1,166 assists, and the defending Rookie of the Year in the PSAC East, Michelle Powers. Powers, living up to her last name, was second on last year’s team in kills with 345 and first with 89 total blocks.
Helping both Yeasted and Powers with the attack is senior Jacqueline Vivcano, who led the team with 59 service aces last season as well as 696 digs, as well as Ashley Focht and Jenne Burd.
Two other players to keep an eye on as well are sophomore Lacie Becher and senior Karly Lotkowski who, in addition to their strong offensive games, are solid defenders as well with a combined 143 blocks a year ago.
All the aforementioned players, along with a fabulous freshman class will be needed for the team to succeed. But one player, who returns after two years away from the game, could be the ultimate difference maker.
Megan Musselman last played in 2005. But she is a game changer by herself. Musselman is a masher who is not only an all-league selection candidate but a player of the year candidate as well. She has the ability to more than make up for the loss of graduated superstar Kristen Decker who was the most lethal all around weapon the team had last year. In her final season Decker mashed her way to 499 kills, 167 assists, 552 digs, and 49 blocks. Besides Musselman, Powers will be looked upon to help fill the void left by Decker up front.
Both Musselman and Powers will have to flex some muscle for the team to succeed, but it will take all 15 players to make a deep playoff run.
Even with the departure of Decker, the team still has high hopes. With solid returning and freshman classes and the return of mega star Michelle Powers, the team has the foundation to succeed. Now they must put it all together.
If they do, the sky is the limit. But it all begins with a very simple theory: bump, set, and spike. Decker set the tone last year for this year’s squad. But it’s a new season with new players and new opponents. And now it’s time for the games to begin.
Mike Heiman is a fourth-year student majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in literacy. He can be reached at MH606613@wcupa.edu.