With a record of 9-3, the Virginia Wesleyan volleyball team is off to its best start in over a decade. From the moment of the first tournament they hosted here at Virginia Wesleyan to now, the team has been unmatched. There are six seniors that are leading the way for the Marlins. These six seniors have grown together for four years now and contributed together to help the Marlins stay strong, along with being the best of friends on and off the court.
Alyssa Taylor, Sarah Brush, Elizabeth Britton, Meghan Wood, Lauren Topper, and Amber Matalus have led this Marlins team off to a phenomenal start. Britton (19 digs), Topper (21 kills), Wood (40 assists), and Taylor (30 digs) all set career highs in the season opener against Pitt-Bradford on Aug. 30.
What is behind the team’s recent success? “I think team chemistry, cause there is six seniors and we all play where there is one rotation with all six of us together. We have been playing with each other for four years. I think that really makes a difference,” Taylor said. “I would say the biggest difference is team chemistry. We just gel really really well,” Matalus said. Team chemistry has been the focal point for the team’s early success.
With six seniors leading the way, their coach still mentioned one reason they been able to string together quality win after quality win. “Well, I think we have one of the deepest teams we have ever had in program history,” Coach Andrea Hoover-Erbig said. She highlights that there is depth at every position on the floor.
Each senior is offering their unique skill set to help the Marlins continue their winning ways. Topper mentioned what she was able to bring to the team while battling injuries throughout her career at VWU: “My goal for the season is to always bring something to the floor. My injuries have been an ongoing battle since freshman year, so I want to always be able to bring something to the floor whether I’m on or off the court,” Topper said. Topper is currently almost doubling her kills per set this season, and with already over 90 kills this season and she is ready to surpass her career mark of 111.
Dedication is what separates this group of seniors from past teams. “Dedication to the program and just really committing to leaving some kind of legacy. I think that’s always been a goal of ours. The six of us are best friends,” Matalus said. Each senior has their own goal for the season, whether it be one getting into the record book for digs in a match to winning an All-American award. This group of best friends and teammates is something to watch. Their energy is leading the Marlins as they make their way to the halfway point in the season.