With 6 players returning for Barons Volleyball, expectations are high for Coach Jill Ricker’s 2013 squad as they prepare to open the season at the annual OSU Newark Titan Invitational on Sunday, August 25th, in Newark, Ohio.
Looking ahead at the 2013 schedule, Coach Ricker has the team’s sites on a few key dates. “August 25th, we play the Titan Invitational. We will get to play several other ORCC opponents, MU Middletown, OU Eastern, and OU Chillicothe. This gives us a chance to play at least 3 games and gives our players experience while seeing some other teams from the ORCC.” Said Ricker.
“We have also added several new teams to the schedule this year with Southern State, Clark State, and Lorain Community College. Playing them, along with other non-conference opponents nearby like UNOH, University of Findlay, and Bluffton University, really helps us to prepare for conference play.” Added Ricker.
When asked about team strengths for the 2013 Barons. Ricker was quick to point to the 6 returning members of Barons Volleyball. Having that core group of athletes returning will surely help in many ways! In addition to the team’s experience, Ricker added “We have sister setters from Paulding High School (Courtney St. John and Alyssa St. John), plus several other players that can play multiple positions. This allows us the ability to run a 5-1 or 6-2 offense, while opening up several options defensively too!”
Coach Ricker also was enthusiastic about the overall athleticism and talent that this year’s team has. With the help of Assistant Coach, Alena Crouse, the focus has been on mental toughness, embracing competition, trying to be a leader on the court, and teamwork. The team has added some new items to their pre-season work with some fun and athletic recovery techniques such as, yoga, speed stacks, progressive relaxation, breathing exercises, a daily log/rating scale, and stressing the importance of eating healthy, living healthy, with proper hydration and sleep.
One last comment by Coach Ricker that we feel sums up the optimism this team has would be “These girls are talented and dedicated to having a successful season!” Short and simple, sounds like a great team that the campus is looking forward to cheering on to a 2013 ORCC Championship!
Come on out to watch the Barons Volleyball Home Opener on Monday, September 16th at 7pm vs Bluffton University.