Volleyball hosts scrimmage at Pittsburg High
Michael Bauer | sports editor
The Pittsburg State volleyball team held its annual scrimmage at Pittsburg High School on Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Megan Mallatt Activity Center.
The scrimmage did not feature an official game or add to statistics, but every player on the team saw time on the court in front of more than 100 people in the stands.
After the scrimmage, team members signed autographs for fans.
“Wonderful fans,” said Ibraheem Suberu, head coach. “It was packed, looking up (at the stands) and they were very much into it. It was almost as if it was a live-match situation instead of a scrimmage.”
Suberu says he was pleased with what he saw on the court from his players.
“We saw a lot of consistent feedback,” Suberu said. “Cohesiveness is something that we’ve been working on.”
The Gorillas recently finished their training camp.
“So far, I think we’ve been able to see progression from day one,” Suberu said. “We got in on Wednesday and got on the court and got to see where everybody was with their skill sets.”
With eight freshmen on the team, communication has been a vital factor between the newcomers and returners.
“The adjustments from our freshmen have been really good,” Suberu said. “Our veterans have been teaching it’s about everyone listening and retaining information.”
The Gorillas are coming off a winning record from last season at 17-13, their first in recent years. This season, they enter fifth in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) polls.
“We’re excited,” Suberu said. “We know we have a lot of work to do, but the template has been built: the discipline, the focus, the attitude to allow us to last longer.”
Last season, the Gorillas had 120 aces when serving and averaged 12.5 assists per set. Suberu is looking to continue to improve on those two areas.
“We saw a couple of passes that we were looking to improve on,” Suberu said. “Those two areas – serve and pass – are very significant. Our first serve, the percentage was very high.”
One of the major advantages for Pitt State will come from the veterans. With plenty of experience, Kirsten Erikson, senior in management, Jordan Rehm, senior in biology, and Christa McCaw, senior in physical education, look to carry the team.
The Gorillas are also looking to capitalize on the season-opening tournament at home in the Pitt State Classic on Sept. 6-7.
“Hosting our first tournament at home is an advantage because it gives new players a chance to see what it’s like at home before going on the road,” Suberu said. “It takes less pressure off them by playing at home rather than on the road.”
Last year Crystal Whitten, sophomore in nursing, led the team in scoring with 318 points and 287 kills. With her returning from a spectacular freshman year, there is going to be a lot to expect from her on the team.
“Right now she’s one of the most athletic players in the league,” Suberu said.
The scrimmage may not have taken place on campus, but Suberu was quick to point out that it didn’t matter where the event was held, saying that having it in Pittsburg made it a community event.
“Community, Pittsburg High, Pittsburg State University, the town of Pittsburg, there’s no better place to have it,” Suberu said.