Volleyball team faces trio in Green Bay for tournament

The volleyball team is unsettled at the setter position going into the Green Bay Invitational this weekend.

Senior Stephanie Budde and sophomore Catherine Ludwig are competing for the position with no clear winner.

“I like the competition. It keeps me on my game all the time,” Budde said. “Every day, I have to push myself to get better, because I could easily lose my spot.”

Central opens the tournament against the host school, Wisconsin-Green Bay, at 8 p.m. today. Wisconsin-Green Bay lost its first three matches last week at the Fresno State Invitational. The team only won three combined sets in its first three matches.

The Chippewas played Green Bay in the 2007 season, winning in four sets.

“Green Bay had some tough competition out west in the first tournament,” said coach Erik Olson. “They always fight and always battle, so we are not looking at them like an 0-3 team at all.”

Olson said the competition will not be as strong as last week in Florida, but CMU also will not have its strongest lineup. Freshmen outside hitters Lindsey Dulude and Katie Schuette will miss this tournament with abdominal injuries.

“Dulude is already feeling better, so it is tempting to use her,” Olson said. “But the chance of reinjuring an abdominal in the sport of volleyball is too high to rush someone back.”

Opportunity for others

With Dulude and Schuette out, freshman outside hitter Val DeWeerd will have the opportunity to showcase her skills before Mid-American Conference play begins.

“I am determined to do everything I can to get a chance to play,” DeWeerd said. “I think my game has greatly improved since I got here, but I am ready to make the changes I need to.”

Returning to the floor after her first tournament is freshman middle blocker Danielle Gotham.

“After last weekend, I have worked out all the butterflies, and I have a better understanding of college volleyball,” Gotham said. “High school was much slower, maybe one-tenth of the intensity. You have to speed up your game.”

CMU also will take on undefeated Iowa and South Dakota State on Saturday.

“Its all about our game right now,” Olson said. “We have to go out there and take care of the ball. From there a lot of the other things will take care of themselves.”