Photo from www.wcupagoldenrams.com.
This fall, the West Chester University women’s volleyball team was robbed of a chance to rebound after a difficult 2019 season. Following a strong season in 2018 in which their record stood at 21–10 overall, the women’s volleyball team struggled away from home (1–9 away record) and in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).
Like in the fall of 2018, the Lady Rams started out on fire with dominant showings in the annual Ram Fest tournament, the Millersville Tournament and the East Stroudsburg Invitational. Of these first 13 tournament games, WCU volleyball had a record of 12–1, with eight of these wins being sweeps. Not a bad start to say the least.
However, the team encountered some strong PSAC competition, and their record through the rest of the season ended up at 5–14. After winning three games straight in the beginning of November, there was a chance to ride that momentum and finish the season on a high note. However, the Lady Rams would drop their remaining four games with three of those being sweeps.
A bright spot from this tough 2019 season would have to be head coach Kassie Bellaver picking up her 300th career victory. She has an overall record of 303–180 at the helm of the program and has overseen 36 All-PSAC selections from her squads. Bellaver also holds the West Chester record for most total wins by any head coach in a single season with 28 in 2007.
This fall marks Bellaver’s 15th year as the head coach of the volleyball team, although her coaching duties/capacity is limited right now due to COVID-19. I asked coach Bellaver about her thoughts on not having a fall 2020 season:
Q: This time last season is right around when PSAC play began. How does it feel to not be coaching, conducting practices, etc.? What are your thoughts on not having a fall season?
A: I am grateful to the WCU administration and the PSAC for taking steps to protect the health of the student-athletes and all those involved in athletics. I am hopeful that the spring season will occur since there have been high school and other collegiate matches taking place this fall. The past few months have been an adjustment for everyone involved in athletics; I am so proud of how our team responded to virtual learning and online workouts. Our team has remained connected virtually, and we are optimistic that we will be together on the court soon.
Bellaver also commented on last season’s campaign:
Q: Last season was a down year when comparing it to the campaigns of 2017 and 2018. Do you feel this team had a chance to prove people wrong, to prove that this group can hang with anyone in the conference?
A: Last season certainly did not end like it started! We had an amazing 12–0 start, and then we suffered some heartbreaking 5 set losses in the middle of the season. We have experienced upperclassmen and talented young players on the 2020 roster, so I am confident we will start strong and end strong this season. We are excited to get back on the court as soon as possible and compete for a conference championship. Together “We Are Golden!”
For updates on the WCU women’s volleyball team and all West Chester teams, check out www.wcupagoldenrams.com.
Tyler Grace is a third-year Economicsand Finance major.