It seems normal for a college fall sport to have a spring season. Teams all over the country at all levels sharpen their skills during the spring for the approaching fall. Athletes, other than freshmen, have been through this before, or have they. The last time the Waldorf volleyball team laced up their shoes for a typical full spring was in 2019, and of those women, none are on the current Waldorf roster.
When the season opens, Kenzie Kidd will be a junior. She led the team with 234 kills last year, even though she didn’t play the entire year. Kidd went down with an injury towards the end of the season but has battled back to compete with her teammates this spring.
Waldorf did start a spring season in 2020 before they were forced to shut it down for the COVID-19 pandemic. Abygail Wood and Kaitlyn Bakke were freshmen on that team and have grown into senior leadership roles. Though they feel as if everyone has been together long enough to know the team’s expectations, says Wood, who was just behind Kidd, connecting on 221 kills in 94 sets a year ago.
Bri Ebenhoe is heading into her sixth season as the leader of the Warriors, and she said to Aby’s point that’s been a focus this spring.
Bakke is the team’s setter and collected 902 assists last year, helping those like Kidd and Wood. While watching practice, it’s normal to see a small sing and dance session break out between drills, or even maybe a joke that gets shared for a quick laugh, but when it’s time for business, Bakke says they’re ready.
Ebenhoe was excited with the team’s progress thus far, and they will continue practicing through April 20th. Coach Ebenhoe says this time of year is for working on their craft and technique.
For some, knowing that games are so far away may distract athletes from caring about their spring practice and just going through the motions. They may lose focus worrying about what they will be doing after training or this weekend, with practice only Monday-Wednesday. But for Wood, it’s been easier without worrying about an opponent and getting homework done before trips and games.
The Warriors finished 11-16 overall last year but didn’t have any seniors on the roster to lose to graduation. A large portion of their team was underclassmen without college volleyball experience. The Warriors are expecting a better go in 2022, and preparing starts with a spring season of getting better each day.