As the women’s volleyball team finished off their preseason schedule, they are set to begin their OUA regular season with head coach Dale Ann Melnick beginning her sixth season in her current role. The Badgers took down RMC in back to back games to end the preseason, and hope the victories will provide them with the confidence needed to get off to a strong start to their season.
The Badgers will look to rebound from a rough 2015-16 season that saw them finish last in the OUA West division with a 2-17 record. The Badgers finished last in points per set with 11.1, kills per set with 8.12, assists per set with 6.88 and digs per set with 12.14. The women already seemed to have improved, finishing their preseason with a 4-6 record.
The Badgers toughest competition inside their division will be the Western Mustangs and the McMaster Marauders who both finished top of the division with a 16-3 record. In the East division, the Toronto Varsity Blues completed a perfect season, going 19-0. Toronto went on to win the OUA gold medal, with the Ryerson Rams taking home silver. The Mustangs defeated the Marauders in the bronze medal game.
The OUA schedule sees each team play twice against divisional opponents, and once against each team in the opposite division. Brock will look to take advantage against weaker teams such as the Lakehead Thunderwolves and the Waterloo Warriors, who make up four of their first eight games.
Joining the team are two NCAA transfers Darby Taylor and Renee Helmer. Helmer is returning to Brock for her second stint in a Badgers uniform.
Brock will hope to have strong seasons from middle blocker Maddie Brown, opposite hitter Abby Jenkins and second year setter Hannah Davenhill. Brown led the Badgers with 89 kills in 2015-16, with Jenkins finishing second with 80. Davenhill was perhaps the Badgers most impressive player, finishing 17th in all of the OUA with 153 assists in her rookie season. Melnick is very happy with how her team’s setters have played so far.
“Second year New Zealand national team athlete Hannah davenhill along with first year provincial team setter Emily Armstrong are doing a great job running our offence, [which is] giving our hitters amazing success.” Melnick said.
The Badgers open up their season with back-to-back games against the Lakehead Thunderwolves on November 4 and 5. Both games will take place in Bob Davis Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m.