A very rejuvenated Bronco volleyball team is back to work, as it prepares for what promises to be another successful season.
In 2018, the Broncos had a successful run with a 24-6 overall record and 14-3 in their conference. Despite losing five important seniors, the Broncos reloaded their roster and welcomed 10 new players to an already talented group of individuals.
One returnee is sophomore setter Kira Zimmerman who looks to keep building off of last year’s success. She earned numerous collegiate awards and honors such as an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American Honorable Mention, AVCA West Region Freshman of the year, AVCA All-West Region Honorable Mention, California Collegiate Athletic Association Freshman of the Year, All-CCAA First Team, NCAA Division II Volleyball West Region All-Tournament Team and CCAA All-American Team.
“I want to definitely continue and build off of last year, my freshman season,” Zimmerman said. “And being All-American, I think it would be nice to do that again and overall just improve on my numbers from last year, improve on my leadership and hopefully lead the team to a championship.”
For 26 years, the volleyball team was under the reins of legendary coach Rosie Wegrich. But on Sept. 6, for the Broncos’ first game of the season, acting head coach Traci Dahl will be on the sideline managing.
After spending two successful seasons as the associate head coach at Cal Poly Pomona, coach Dahl takes on her first season as the Broncos head coach with seemingly high expectations.
“My expectations for this season are very high,” Dahl said. “I think we have a lot of really solid returners added on to the newcomers. And although our roster lost quite a few seniors last year, I’m not looking to skip a beat on the court.”
In 2019, the roster will be weighted with youth unlike other years, but that won’t seem to be an issue for the Broncos to continue their success, as the new incoming players might have a huge impact on the team with their athleticism.
“We are going to have the Cal Poly mentality of we are going to grind on the court, work hard and we are going to run a fast offense,” Dahl said. “I think the incoming players are going to have a heavy impact; they’re very athletic, very competitive. They’re winners and they’re going to blend right into the winning culture that we already have.”
In her first year as the head coach, Dahl has been able to add 10 new players for the 2019 season: Daisy Duke, Dionne Zhao, Aofiaolela Faa’agi, Taylor Bachmann, Mikayla Diamond, Brynn Sherbert, Jane Woodward, Kylie Brandt, Kaitlan Tucker and Jazminn Parrish.
One of the incoming freshmen, Parrish, is a player who is not shy from the spotlight and has already set high expectations for herself for how she plans to contribute to the team.
“I just want to be a better volleyball player and want to work on my social skills and just bonding with everybody,” Parrish said. “I think I can add a lot of enthusiasm, energy and excitement on the court. And I feel like I probably can’t be a leader with my words, but I will try through my actions.”
With a new coach and determined players, the Broncos will look to kick off their 2019 season with a win.
Their first preseason game will be against Western Oregon on Sept. 6 in Portland, Oregon.