The NCAA women’s college volleyball season is officially over, concluding after the Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Texas Longhorns in four sets April 24. College volleyball teams, including the Marquette Golden Eagles, are now prepping this summer for the fall season.
While players will return home for most of the summer, junior Claire Mosher said that the team agreed to stay in contact during that time and work together as well.
“As a team, we collectively decided that we all want to get into the gym as much as we can,” Mosher said. “Whether that be playing volleyball or working out we really want to focus in on working together too — whether that be weekly team meetings, we really want to come together as team this summer.”
Mosher, the sister of former Marquette volleyball player Madeline Mosher, will be entering her final offseason as a member of the Golden Eagles. Due to that, and the mentality Mosher learned from her mother, she really wants to work hard this offseason to get ready for this fall.
“This summer is super important,” Mosher said. “When I was younger my mom would always tell me that champions are born in the offseason and this summer is my last offseason, so I really want to work hard this summer and put everything I can.”
Mosher said in the summer, it is important to get more experience with some of the players who were new to the program this past season because of the lack of practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s great, when we come back in July we’ll get that time to work together and work on things that we might not have gotten to because we’ve been in season,” Mosher said. “Just kind of getting into a rhythm of things while we’re working in July and throughout the summer.”
This summer will be the last offseason for many on the team, with eight players becoming seniors or hitting their last year of eligibility, which includes graduate students Taylor Wolf and Savannah Rennie, as well as current juniors Ellie Koontz and Katie Schoessow.
One of those who are not entering their final season is sophomore middle blocker Claire Nuessmeier, who will be entering her junior year this fall.
Nuessmeier is going to be working out with her club during the summer back in St. Peter, Minnesota. While working on her game as a whole this offseason, Nuessmeier wants to focus on building her confidence as a player.
“I really think I want to work on, at least individually, building my confidence in my skills,” Nuessmeier said. “I want to challenge myself individually in this offseason to really work harder in the areas where I might be a little nervous in practice because I don’t want to make a silly mistake during this time.”
Nuessmeier said that managing the workload during the offseason with such a quick turnaround from the end of the season is an important factor to get ready for the fall.
“I think we’ve had a good period of rest right now, we’re not in the gym as much as we were in season which has been a good little break for us,” Nuessmeier said. “Rest is definitely important, we can’t push ourselves too hard but I think everyone is super motivated to keep working.”
While the next few weeks will be relatively quiet for head coach Ryan Theis, once June hits, Theis said things get busy.
“June 1 we are allowed to go out recruiting, June 15 we start recruiting phone calls for upcoming juniors (in high school) and that process is pretty intense just trying to reach out to how ever many kids we are recruiting” Theis said. “And while that’s gonna be going on the same time we are traveling all over because we haven’t been able to go out recruiting for a year,”
Theis said he is excited to get back on the road for recruitment again, not only to see players in person, but to also meet up with friends he’s met over the years.
“In coaching you got a lot of coaching friends, people that you get used to seeing on the weekends. It’s funny they essentially become your friends,” Theis said. “I have a tradition with five coaches that when we go to AAU’s … we go and play mini-golf the first night before we work four days at a convention center.”
Theis is also excited for how competitive the summer will be heading into the season with 19 players on the roster.
“I think it’s going to be really competitive,” Theis said. “Our team knows they better come in shape with 19 players, we’ve never had that many players before. … Practices are going to be competitive, if there’s six outsides versus eight outside hitters all that stuff gets competitive in a gym and it will allow for longer and sustained competition in the gym.”
This story was written by Jackson Gross. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JacksonGross6.