Volleyball hosts alumnae game

The volleyball team opened competitive play against some familiar faces Saturday at the exhibition alumnae game in Rose Arena.

The Chippewas, playing against a team of alumnae, received their first game-time experience before heading to Florida for their season-opening tournament, which starts Friday.

“We looked pretty sharp in our execution,” said coach Erik Olson. “I was very encouraged, especially with how young this team is.”

Junior outside hitter Lauren Krupsky led the team with 17 kills.

Sophomore middle blocker Kaitlyn Schultz came into the match with a nagging groin injury. However, the returning Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year was able to play and earned 13 kills.

“We were just getting her going and the injury doesn’t seem to be slowing her down,” Olson said. “She gets better and better as each day goes by.”

The six freshman on the team were able to play in Rose Arena’s atmosphere for the first time. Freshman middle blocker Danielle Gotham thrived with 13 kills.

“They played like All-MAC kids,” Olson said. “They didn’t play like freshman.”

With the team’s depth at outside hitter, the freshmen on the squad had one more chance to impress Olson before the Florida State Invitational. Freshman outside hitter Lindsey Dulude added seven kills and 11 digs to the team’s total. Freshman outside hitter Val DeWeerd earned nine kills.

“Dulude looked like the best overall athlete in the gym,” Olson said. “DeWeerd, Gotham and Dulude could start, no problem.”

Returners to Rose Arena for the alumnae team included Erika Neumann, who had 203 digs last season, and Sarah Warner, who ended her CMU career last season with 979 kills.

“It was very encouraging for us to play against quality players like that,” Olson said.

CMU opens the regular season Friday at the Florida State Invitational. The team opens with North Dakota State before taking on the host Seminoles on Friday. The team plays Florida A&M on Saturday and Indiana on Sunday.

The team’s first home game is Oct. 2 against Ball State.