This year, the volleyball team is made up of 13 girls compared to the 19 they had in 2018.
With the small numbers, they are also missing height this year. Tatum Graves, 6’2”, graduated last year.
“We will have to bring more speed,” said Bing Xu, head coach. “We have new people step in right now because they know it’s their turn, their time, they work hard. Fill in those spots. I think we should be alright.”
Yuchen Du, senior setter and outside hitter, said although the team is smaller, it feels like more of a family.
A smaller team means closer girls but also a higher risk of injuries. The health of the women is important so they can be ready for the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association tournament games and the upcoming games.
Out of the 24 there are no games that Xu says he is most looking forward to. Every game the women must be prepared. He teaches them not to let the stats of other teams influence the way they walk into a game. They must always be ready to fight their A game no matter who are they are against.
“Every game is a blessing,” said Emma Dixon, senior setter.
With or without height, Xu, has great confidence in the abilities of the players on and off the court.
“They come here and they love this campus and also they love the team,” Xu said. “We pretty much recruit good people with- really be grateful, respectful, truthful, and you know, coachable.”