Aug 23, 2018

2018 Women's Volleyball Season Preview

A Winning Tradition

 
  • 2 NCCAA National Championships (1984, 1987)
  • 1 NAIA National Tournament (1998)
  • 1 Women's Conference of Independent Colleges Championship (1982)
  • 1 Northwest Conference Championship (1998)
  • 2 NCCAA National Coaches of the Year
  • 2 NAIA District Coaches of the Year
  • 2 Northwest Conference Player of the Year
  • 1 Northwest Conference Coach of the Year
  • 13 All-Americans 
  • 5 Academic All-Americans
  • 47 All-NWC Athletes

By Jake Bienvenue

NEWBERG – After making serious strides last year, the George Fox women's volleyball team will look to build upon last year's improvement and make waves in the Northwest Conference.

Last season was a different story than 2016 when the squad finished 4-20. In her second year as head coach, Emily Davis led the Bruins to a much-improved 9-11 overall mark and 8-8 record in conference play.

The Bruins will look to balance experience and youth, as four freshmen join a squad primarily made up of underclassmen. Among the new additions are Sophia Davies, Mckenna Gabriel, Maddie O'Hare and Sadie Wilson. According to the Northwest Conference Coaches' Poll, the Bruins are picked to finish sixth this season. 

"This year we are still a young team, but having two years behind us with a new culture and more established expectations will make this year enjoyable," Davis said.

The Bruins have a solid core of returners to help build on the established culture. Seniors Danyle Dupray and Madison Ross both earned all-conference honors last season, as Dupray led the team in kills and Ross in aces. Sophomores Alyssa Burch, Laney Search and Sophia Lawrence all figure to be featured heavily in the Bruins' rotation as well.

Although the 2018 squad is loaded with top-end talent, Davis likes to focus on the egalitarian nature of the sport itself.

"All athletes on the team are equal contributors, and I am looking forward to seeing both how they practice and compete," Davis said.

The Bruins kick off their season by hosting the Oregon Trail Classic Aug. 31 through Sept. 1 in the Wheeler Sports Center. On the first day, they will face Elmhurst at 11 a.m. and UC Santa Cruz at 1:30 p.m., followed by games on day two against New Rochelle at 12:30 p.m. and Illinois Tech at 3 p.m.