Volleyball has defining win in opener

After taking the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship in 2019, the Marlins’ women’s volleyball team looks to repeat as the first-ever women’s volleyball spring season starts in 2021. In 2019, the #2 seeded Marlins defeated the Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets 3-1. The final victory boosted VWU to 28-7, setting a new program record for wins in a season.

This was only the Marlins’ second appearance in the conference championship and their first championship win. The 2021 season will be Head Coach Andrea Hoover-Erbig’s final season as the team’s Head Coach since she will become VWU’s new Athletic Director.

As Hoover-Erbig enters her 15th season as the team’s Head Coach, she seeks to improve on last season. 

“We’ve been competitive in the ODAC. We’ve been in the top third, probably top quarter, for most of my time here. And I think that’s always the goal. It’s always our goal to win the conference championship,” said Hoover-Erbig. 

The team graduated six seniors that were all starters from the 2019 championship squad, making room for old players to step up and new players who want to be on the court. Hoover-Erbig sees the roster shift as an opportunity. 

“We are going to have a learning curve when we begin competing for sure, but we are excited about the talent that we have in our gym,” said Hoover-Erbig. “We need to work hard to get better every day.” 

Returning starter, junior and captain Katie Yeager sees a team that can overcome the challenges for the year. “We are definitely going to have a young group out there, but I think that they are really capable of stepping up to the challenge,” said Yeager. 

The first-year captain looks to improve upon her leadership skills for the 2021 season. “I’ve always been an underclassman to a big group of seniors, so to finally be in a leadership role is different,” said Yeager. 

As the Marlins look to repeat this season as the ODAC champions, the ODAC is only allowing four teams in this year’s tournament. The Marlins opened up their season with a defining 3-0 win over the Shenandoah Hornets on 3/16. They look to continue this style of play 3/18 against Marymount University.

By Nathan Sheirburn