Roosevelt’s Volleyball Team Focuses on Finishing the Season Strong

by Raneen El-Barbarawi / Staff Reporter

Amy Stumpf spikes the ball. Photo by Steve Woltmann.

The 2018 season was a tough one for the volleyball team here at Roosevelt University. They ended the season with an overall record of 7-23 and 5-13 in conference. With new additions to the team, as well as returning players, they hope to use their resilience and collaborative effort to be in the top eight in their conference and qualify for the NAIA regional tournament.   

The Lakers took an intense 0-3 loss against St. Francis on Sept. 17 at the Goodman Center, but they sure put up a fight. Although they may be at a rocky road with a 6-12 ongoing record, they said they plan to use their optimistic spirit to focus on how they are going to end the season.

“Every game day is an opportunity to do something great with your teammates and make more memories,” said Makenzie Cooper, the only senior on the team and an outside hitter. “So I think it is going to be a good season.”  

Despite their struggles, they have had their share of successful moments. The team said that given their second opportunity against Bethel University in August, they were able to win all three sets. 

“It was a great win for the program to be able to do that against a team that took care of us last year,” said returning head coach Nicasio Paquiz. “We have lost some key players since the beginning of the year, but I like the players that are willing and able to step up like our new freshmen.”

“When we are on fire, we give a really energetic sense to the court which is fun to be a part of,” Alyssa Stilley, freshman and middle blocker said, “We have a lot of good talent on the team so when we are working together, we are unstoppable.”

The players and Coach Paquiz said that there have been many changes implemented this year.

“It is hard to even put into words how different it has been since last season,” said Cooper, who is in the radiation therapy program at Northwestern and hopes to continue playing volleyball after she graduates in August. “The chemistry from the team on and off the court has made us a lot closer this year.”

Paquiz said that he wants his players to continue building good habits by modeling behavior that all the players can benefit from. He believes the rocky season so far does not represent the teams potential because they have not been playing how they regularly do. 

“We hope that with all the work that we are putting behind training in our gym, eventually, we can put up some billions.”

Daphyne Turner, Mallory Nickelson, Mackenzi Bell, Makenzie Cooper, Paula Gross, and Sydney Mishler huddled together after gaining a point. Photo by Raneen El-Barbarawi. 

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