Volleyball enters the 2018 season looking to its five seniors to help the team return to the California Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament.

The last Cal Poly Pomona team to have that many seniors was also the last team to reach the conference tournament back in 2015.

Having that experience at her disposal, coach Rosie Wegrich is looking to the seniors to lead by example for the younger members of the team.

“Every day at practice I’m trying to put them in a leadership role,” Wegrich said. “They’re not going to be coaches, but they can be orchestrators on the court.”

Volleyball has not been to the NCAA tournament in 10 years. (David Wilson | The Poly Post)

Because of the veteran presence on the roster, Wegrich added four freshmen to the squad this offseason to add depth.

The individual role of the freshmen was discussed in “role meetings” with the coaching staff.

“They all have the potential to be a starter in a certain capacity or role on the team,” Wegrich said. “Role clarity is pretty important, so I’m trying to improve that.”

Having five seniors also allows Wegrich to implement more advanced concepts to the team earlier than in previous years.

Volleyball wrapped up its two practices a day schedule last week and the focus of that period of preseason was to talk about how a championship level practices and how it takes care of business off the court.

“We got to shake things up,” Wegrich said. “We don’t want this team to think that they can be complacent.”

Senior opposite hitter Desi Martin is taking a step-by-step approach to this season as a way to reach the long-term goal of getting the team back into the conference tournament.

“We’re more thinking about day-to-day and completing goals everyday just to get better,” Martin said. “If it’s game day focusing on that game.”

Despite missing out on the conference tournament, the team has finished the regular season strong the last two years.

In 2016, the team ended a three-game losing streak by winning the final four games.

In 2017, the Broncos won four of the last five including the last three games to end the season 13-12 overall.

“It’s a fresh start, but we have that feeling of winning at the end and we know what that feels like then we kind of understand now more of what it takes to win those types of games,” senior outside hitter Andrea Bosnic said.

Bosnic led the team in kills last season with 292 and ended the season with a team-high 2.98 kills per set.

Before CCAA play begins the team will take part in two preseason tournaments.

The first starts this weekend at Concordia University and will match the Broncos against opposition from the West Region of Division II.

Volleyball will play Azusa Pacific, Colorado Mesa, American International and Concordia University.

The second tournament is comprised of team from the CCAA, Great Northwest Athletic Conference and the Pacific West Conference.

Teams are separated into pods based on last year’s performance meaning CPP is placed in pod F, the lowest pod.

“I won’t tell you what pod F stands for, but I can imagine you can figure it out,” Wegrich said. “This senior group is not happy being in pod F.”

Volleyball will play Humboldt State, Hawaii Pacific, Holy Names and Stanislaus State in the Division II West Region Volleyball Showcase.

Along with getting back into the CCAA Tournament, volleyball is looking to end another drought. It’s been 10 years since CPP earned a spot in the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament.

The team opens CCAA play on Sep. 7 on the road against Chico State.

“I want to leave a legacy on the team,” senior middle blocker Kristen Hamlin said. “I want to have a mark on Cal Poly Pomona volleyball.”

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