In 2011, the success of the Crusader Volleyball team was reflected in their second place rank in hitting percentage and fourth place ranking in kills, assists and blocks in the Northern Athletics Conference (NAC) against conference opponents.
The success translated to more than just numbers, with the team advancing to the semifinals against the #1 seed in the conference tournament, Dominican University. The team also reached the semifinals of the NCCAA National Tournament and suffered their first and only NCCAA loss of the season to Ozark Christian.
The 2012 Crusader Volleyball team retains its core group with a cast of returning players and adds depth with the new players to make for a competitive season.
In the outside hitter position, Torey DeLozier’s 1,929 kills are just 17 shy of breaking the all-time Northern Athletics Conference record (1,945) set by Kayla Leyden of Benedictine from 2007-2010. DeLozier also ranks second all-time in the NAC with a .351 attacking percentage.
In the middle blocker position, Laci Peterson, against all opponents, ranked third in the NAC in kills and ninth in blocks.
Peterson’s counterpart, middle blocker Lauren Schulz, adds blocking, stingy defense and an attacking option.
Junior Erin Steuerwald, sophomore Pam Borchardt, and two freshmen, Stacy Reinke and Kelli Fox, all provide blocking and attacking depth and Sadie Joutras returns from injury to contribute in the attack laden offense.
The defense is led by senior Hallie Sheley, returning in the Libero position, and freshman Samantha Swiatek adds depth as a defensive specialist.
The Sophomore setter Emily Thompson controls the offense with Pam Borchardt and Erin Jochum supplementing the 6-2 offensive system.
Defensive specialist Megan Rasmussen and hitter Kaylah Richerson will both vie for support roles to round out the roster.
Assistant Coach Jenny George, a product of Coach DeLozier’s system, will assume defensive responsibilities.
“Many of the ladies worked hard this summer in preparation for the season. We have strong leadership, and the team has made it their goal to be spiritual leaders on campus,” stated Head Coach Regina DeLozier.
The ladies have already taken the mindset of leadership to community activities such as the Adopt-A-Highway program, YMCA clinics, and participation and other community activities. For the Crusaders, success is not limited to semifinal appearances or on-court accomplishments, but expands with the opportunity to invest in teammates and community members alike.