Walnut Ridge, Ark. - Emily Stober will begin her second season as the head coach of the Williams Baptist College Lady Eagles volleyball program on Friday, August 25. The team will travel to Dearborn, Mich., to compete at the prestigious 'Early Bird Challenge."
The Lady Eagles return nine players from a team that finished sixth in the American Midwest Conference a year ago. The team will have six new players in the squad for this coming season. The AMC Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll has them picked to finish sixth once again.
"We graduated seven seniors last year. Talent-wise, we had more experience, but as a whole this year's group has uncharted potential. I know the ladies are eager to out achieve the preseason polls," stated Stober.
Stober summarized five main goals for the team during the 2017 season. Be positive, be a family, play as a team, communicate, and give all the glory to God will be the aim of the squad.
"I stand behind these goals knowing that if we achieve them, success will follow on the court," added Stober.
Shelby Wallace (SR/Jonesboro, Ark. ) returns after being named Second Team All-AMC last year. The right sided player finished with 211 kills in 2016. Stober mentioned her, as well as Audra Nailling (JR/Paragould, Ark. ) and Rachel Pirtle (SR/El Paso, Texas), as leaders for the fall.
Another key for the Lady Eagles will be Kayla Winfrey (SR/Marion, Ark.). Winfrey has stepped in to a new role this season as a setter after serving as a utility player the last couple of years.
The team will open the season at the 'Early Bird Challenge' on Friday, August 25. They will play against Judson University at 5 p.m., followed by Spring Arbor University at 7 p.m.
After a night's rest, WBC will head back to the court for another double header on Saturday, August 26. First, they will play Indiana University-South Bend at noon, followed by Trinity International University at 2 p.m.
Williams will play its first home match on August 29, as part of a tri-match with John Brown University and Southern Arkansas University. The games will be at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. All home games will be played at WBC's Southerland-Mabee Center in Walnut Ridge.
The first American Midwest Conference match will be played on Sept. 15, at 5 p.m., against Stephens College. Game time is scheduled for 5 p.m.
The Lady Eagles are slated to face three teams that are ranked in the NAIA Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll. Columbia College is ranked eighth, and WBC will face them at home on Sept. 16. Next, Williams will travel to 12th ranked Missouri Baptist University on Sept. 23. Finally, the Lady Eagles will host third ranked Park University on Sept. 29, at 5 p.m.
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