Maintaining good health important for volleyball team

Maintaining the health of a collegiate team can be a difficult task to manage.

For Central Michigan women’s volleyball head coach Erik Olson, this task has taken on a whole new meaning this season.

“The health factor is so important to us and we’re playing with fire a little bit,” Olson said Monday.

The heat from that fire may be because of the grueling road schedule that has CMU playing on the road for the first four weekends of the season. With over 1,911 miles in travel during those weekends, the amount of time away from home may have some impact on the team as the season progresses.

With most road tournaments consisting of three games, the issue of wear and tear on the players’ bodies is also something that has Olson leery when it comes to training.

“We want to get some training done without getting any wear and tear on our bodies,” Olson said.

This week for the Chippewas has been a prime example of not overworking in between long road trips. The team departed for Charleston, S.C., Thursday and will play three games over the weekend, returning late on Sunday.

Before that time, Olson plans on easing the team back into working, even resting several players during Monday’s practice.

One of the players that did not take many hits during practice was senior Lauren Krupsky, who finished the previous weekend with 41 kills from her outside hitter position, earning Milwaukee-Marquette all-tournament honors. And Olson does not want her worn out by the time they play Friday.

“She will not take a swing today because of how she played, and we want just to rest that arm,” Olson said.

Despite the short turnaround from the pervious weekend, Krupsky was excited by the prospect of returning to work and preparing for the upcoming weekend.

“(Sunday) was our day off and were ready to go back to work today,” Krupsky said. “We’ve got three new opponents and were ready to work hard and get better this weekend.”

Olson said that there is a thin line between training and over working his players, something that he and his coaching staff must balance.

“It’s a balance between getting better and not over training, and that’s a very difficult line to walk right now,” Olson said.

Although cautious about the possibility of injuries, only one player — sophomore Danielle Gotham — is currently listed as injured. The middle blocker has missed the first nine games of the season due to an ankle injury and a timeline for her return has not been confirmed.