By Roderick M. Wilbon, Sports Editor

University of Missouri–St. Louis’ Women’s Volleyball last season gained the most wins, 18-12, since 2011. The 2016 season showed many ups and downs like a roller coaster, although Head Coach Ryan Young states, “It’s a great step forward.” Coach Young adds that the level of talent we received pushed the level of competition in our team.

The season showed Madyson Abeyta, Setter, senior, accounting, step up to another level which is what Coach Young predicted all along. Abeyta saw 30 matches in which she started 28 of them. She is the 2016 leader in assists per set with 5.64, a season-best 38 assists, leader in service aces with 31, and a season-high 17 digs. Coach Young makes Abeyta the pillar of strength of the team. She is just that too, with a straight forward no nonsense approach, “I just want to get better so that I can make other players and the team better,” says Abeyta. “I want to finish the Conference Tournament.”

The team went 12-6 in their own conference with rival team Mckendree beating them once in the regular season. The second loss to Mckendree sent them home from the Great Lake Valley Conference by the same score of 0-3. Mckendree is a team that is circled on Coach Young’s list. He assures that UMSL has the talent to not only compete but beat Mckendree this season.

When asked about his coaching techniques, Young said, “I like to ask my players a lot of questions it prepares them to think critically.”
Young is preparing players to not only to react physically, but to react mentally for the next move or assignment. He is talking to them not just in the film room, but right after a missed assignment in practice.
This season two standouts that are coming up through the ranks are Kylie Rudsinski, sophomore, biology pre-med, and Selena Nolte, sophomore, biology pre-med. “They are our one and two as attackers and in kills,” said Young. “They are both talented physically but are bringing a leadership quality too.” During practice Rudsinski is a powerhouse and leader. Both lady Tritons were named a 2016 GLVC Academic All-Conference selection.
When the players are not in class or at practice, they do have a workout regimen. Across the board off season and in season. Young wants the players coming in stronger and healthier than previous seasons. The main part helps in avoiding injuries or recovering from previous injuries. The workout regimen gives the team the ability to be in peak shape to immediately affect games. “We’re ready for the season we have one scrimmage left and then we name captains this week.”