The Eagles Volleyball team kicks off action this weekend

Derik Wuchte

Volleyball is back for the 2015 season after finishing 7-23 in the 2014 campaign. Due to critical injuries by some of the key players, the Eagles found themselves in a difficult season. With offseason changes and accolades, and a healthy team ready to renew itself, the GSU volleyball team has their eyes set forward to a strong and powerful season.

Ross Kessler, who was an assistant volunteer coach at the University of Kentucky, joined the coaching staff for GSU on Tuesday, July 7. He is bringing coaching experience from an elite program, adaptability to the team and a readiness to push the Eagles ahead.

Following Kessler’s joining, the Eagles accomplished another feat: they were awarded the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award in late July 2014 for having excelling GPAs. A 3.30 cumulative team GPA on a 4.0 scale is required for achievement in this award, or a 4.10 team GPA on a 5.0 scale. Seven of the Eagles made the Sun Belt Commissioner’s List for having GPAs of 3.50 or higher. Representing the team in the classroom is a motivation to the program, and it is something the Eagles have been consistent on as they have won this award for two years now.

Three of the top players on the team will be returning this season after suffering injuries last year. Junior Alex Beecher, Junior Crysten Curry and Junior Katie Bange all had early injuries that ended their seasons before they got started. With their return and leadership for this season, the team will bring a new mettle to themselves and to the conference.

Accompanying them will be returning players who left a mark last season. Senior Kat Minnerly will be back. Her 1137 assists led the team, with her having more than a 1000 more assists than her teammates. Sophomore Cathrine Murray will be another returner. Her 296.0 points, 266 kills and 202 digs ranked top four among the team last season when she was a freshman. Sophomore Megan Chevalier will also be one to look forward to. With 258.0 points and 226 kills last season as a freshman, this season could be a big opportunity for her.

Competition begins in Boca Raton, Florida for the Florida Atlantic University Invitational. It starts on Friday, August 28 and carries through the weekend.