Vincennes, IN – A year after climbing all the way to #20 in the NJCAA, defeating multiple ranked teams, and securing 29 wins, Head Volleyball Coach Gary Sien released the slate of 2017 games for the Lady Trailblazers.
The Lady Blazers will open with a string of four games against: Lake Land, Robert Morris Springfield, Ancilla, and Rend Lake before taking to the incredibly tough Owens Tournament. “There are over 30 teams from all over the country that attend the Owens Tournament. Last year, 3 of the 4 teams we played there were ranked teams that made the NJCAA tournament. The tournament is invite only. I have been going there for a few years now between my time at VU and my time at Kankakee, and I really feel that it is a great way to start the season. We see good competition, and it will really prepare us for a schedule this year that is pretty tough throughout. There aren’t too many lulls.”
From there, the Trailblazers next big tournament is their first home tournament of the year, the Blazer Classic. Last year, 2 teams came into the tournament undefeated, and ranked nationally. This year the slate of teams that includes: Glen Oaks, Malcom X, Lake Land, Mineral Area, Tri Match, & Wallace State are shaping up to prove to be equally as competitive. Last season, both Mineral Area & Wallace State both made the NJCAA DI National Tournament.
From there the Lady Blazers play a pair of tough tournaments on the road at the Wallace State Invitational, and the Jefferson College Tournament. “The Jefferson College Tournament is a very strong tournament that includes a good chance to see several of the teams in our region, a lot of ranked NJCAA DI & DII teams, and will provide very competitive games that will serve as a great tune-up for the District Playoffs that follow.”
Coach Sien recapped their schedule on the whole by saying, “We have a tough schedule all the way through this year. There are no drop-offs. Our schedule this year has more balance though. There are a few more home matches. There are more opportunities for fans and students to see our great team compete. Our athletes will not be asked to miss as many classes for long travel trips, and their bodies will hopefully be a little fresher with less traveling on the schedule.”
Coach Sien continued on to say that he believes the team is heading in a very positive direction going into this season. “The group that graduated last year really had tremendous leadership abilities to go along with great talent that they showcased on the court. However, if this year’s group continues that leadership, and takes ownership of the program, I think we could be even better than we were last year. You never know exactly how the returners will mesh with the new freshmen until you get them all on the court together, but we have a good group of incoming players, we have a strong group of returners, and hopefully we can really make a push to advance to the championship game of our District Tournament. If we can do that, anything can happen.”
Linke to 2017 Schedule:https://my.vinu.edu/web/athletics/volleyball/schedule