Sports

XU volleyball craves victory in 2021

Head Coach Christy Pfeffenberger looks ahead to fall season

By Jake Geiger, Staff WRiter

After pandemic postponements forced the women’s volleyball team to play their season in spring instead of the fall, Xavier volleyball is gearing up for a normal 2021 season. 

Head Coach Christy Pfeffenberger emphasized that the team will need more endurance mentally and physically to achieve success after its back-to-back seasons. She also stressed the need for players to enter the season on Aug. 4 at the ”necessary fitness level to get going.” 

“We were playing the best we had all season and felt our season ended too abruptly, so we are excited to pick up where we left off,” she said.

Pfeffenberger noted the Charlotte Invitational as a highly-anticipated event, since it is senior middle blocker Jayda Carlton’s hometown. 

“This is in her backyard essentially, so I think they’re excited to see where she’s from,” Pfeffenberger said. She added that the team is particularly excited to travel again. 

With nearly the entire team returning this fall, Pffenberger also believes that team dynamics will remain strong. 

“No one has to take on a new role or prove themselves. They just have to show up and do what they have been doing,” she said.

Pfeffenberger praised outside hitters Norah Painter and Kelly Franxman for their strong seasons last year. 

“They finished strong and as our go-to attackers…we relied on them heavily and they have to do that again,” she said. Pfeffenberger also mentioned graduate student Moriah Hopkins, as well as juniors Alyssa Overbeck and Carrigan O’Reilly, as players who stood out last season.

Pfeffenberger is excited about the possibility of full attendance at home games. The team plans to host activities during Manresa to get the student community more involved and boost attendance. 

Pfeffenberger said two major keys for the team to succeed are a sense of urgency and a chip on their shoulder everyday in the gym. 

“Everyday in the gym matters. Also, not letting the day-to-day stresses set in is also important. We have the coaches and talent, and our ultimate challenge is staying focused and doing things the right way by grinding every day,” she said.

Women’s volleyball Head Coach Christy Pfeffenberger strives to fight fatigue as the team enters an unusual back-to-back season.
Photo courtesy of goxavier.edu