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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Excitement Surrounds UMB Volleyball

After last season’s disappointing early tournament elimination at the hands of Bowdoin College, the Lady Beacons of volleyball will kick off a new season this September with a lot to be excited about. The team is bringing back most of the same players that went 6-1 in their conference last season. In addition to that, a group of young freshmen are bringing depth and size to the equation. This combination creates a lot of excitement. Those are just a few things I took away from my sit down with the coaches of Beacons Volleyball, Terry Condon and Michael Houlihan. 
The most pressing question was whether or not the team would improve on its 12-16 overall record. However, contrary to the team improving in that area, Coach Condon explained that they are really only worried about their in-conference record.
Condon said, “The record to us doesn’t really matter. Winning the conference is what matters, because we have to win our conference to get to the NCAA tournament, and how we do in the NCAA tournament is the most important thing.” With that being said, the team finished 6-1 in their conference last season, so I would say the team has a good shot of making it back to the NCAA tournament.
With that 6-1 record last season, the team clearly did well against their conference opponents. Although Coach Condon couldn’t really put her finger on what that advantage is, Coach Houlihan said it essentially comes down to the experience the team has.
“I think the one thing that might be setting us apart is that we’re fortunate enough to have past experience by winning the conference. We just have that history and players that have constantly been in that situation before”. Coach Houlihan also added, “We just have that playoff experience that allows our players to relax, and just play the game they’re used to playing, and that might help us get a few more wins at the end of the year.”
Coach Condon was able to tell me that the team was bringing back, for the most part, the same roster with the exception of last season’s middle blocker (who graduated), and a freshman on last season’s team that decided to go back home. Even with those losses, the team is bringing in an exciting group of young freshman. Among the new additions are players from out of the region such as Melanie Fida, who, as a lefty, Coach Houlihan believes will add a new depth that the team hasn’t had in a few years. The team is also bringing in added height with players such as Sarah Doyle, who is from California and stands at 5 foot 2. The coaching staff points out that the added height will make them stronger in the middle. Overall, the coaches believe that the added freshman will complement the returning players well this upcoming season.
The most important question to be asked each and every season is what we can expect from the team. “We always expect to win, that’s our goal. So, that’s what we expect!” Condon responded with a laugh. Overall, the team is excited and confident heading into this season. From what I can tell, the campus should share the excitement of the team as we head into another season with a ton of potential.