BY JOSH COOK
The Drake Bulldogs volleyball team won the Titan Tournament Championship in their first pre-season tournament of the year.
The team went 3-1 during play to earn the honor. Their only loss was to the University of California Riverside in a 3-1 game.
Along with championship quality play, the Bulldogs had two players selected to the all-tournament team. Freshman Emily Plock and Sophomore Paige Aspinwall were both given this honor (Drake Athletic Communications).
Plock had 44 kills in the tournament and Aspinwall served up an incredible 111 assists during the tournament.
This should be a sign of good things to come for the Bulldogs. Last year they played very well down the stretch of season and were always competitive in MVC (Missouri Valley Conference) matches.
Also in the tournament, Kyla Inderski finished with 50 kills throughout four games. This brought her career total at Drake to 1,094 which is now sixth all time in the Drake record books.
Inderski is only one of two returning seniors on the roster, which will put pressure on her to continue her fantastic legacy.
Only returning two seniors, Kyla Inderski and Odessa Cody, and three juniors, Grace Shofield, Cathryn Cheek and Sara Jensen, the team will certainly need underclassmen to step up and play like veterans if the team is to live up to its potential.
If this happens, the Bulldogs will be serious competitors this season. The upperclassmen on the team will surely have to stand out and be on the court a lot, but if the freshman and sophomores can play well at this level, it will take a ton of pressure off the top six players.
Last season the Bulldogs finished 17-15 with an 8-10 conference record. While those are nice, competitive records, the team lost a slew of seniors to graduation.
This means that everyone will have to bring their game up to continue building this program.
Thus far, the Bulldogs are doing so. With a tournament win under their belt to start the season, confidence should keep growing. This is definitely a team you want to go see when they’re at Drake. It should be an exciting year.