|Volleyball opens fall camp|
MOSCOW -The Idaho volleyball team began its fall camp Wednesday morning, and head coach Debbie Buchanan expects to see plenty of position battles before the Vandals open the season with the Idaho Nike Invitational Aug. 24 and 25.
"The one thing that we do know is that we have a lot of competition for positions, and that's a good thing," Buchanan said. "They're going to push each other and challenge each other a little bit."
Some of the spots up for grabs are setter, right side hitter and libero. And while there is experience at all three positions, Buchanan expects her three freshmen, hitters Ali Forde and Katelyn Peterson, and defensive specialist Jenna Ellis, to be in the mix for those spots as well.
"They're not doing a ton of negative things, they're pretty much in system with what we're doing, now it's just fine-tuning some things," Buchanan said of the freshmen. "That's really nice to have. All three of those kids are pretty competitive. They don't have the freshman mentality, their mentality is that they're competitive kids who are going to get in there and take shots and swing and do what they need to do."
With a pair of all-Western Athletic Conference honorees returning, middle blocker is one position that is pretty well solidified within the Vandal lineup. Senior Alex Sele, a second-team all-WAC pick in 2011, along with sophomore Alyssa Schultz, a WAC all-freshman team selection from last season, bring an offensive punch as well as a blocking ability to the position, which is something Buchanan hopes to take advantage of more in 2012.
"One of our goals this year is to run our middles more," she said. "We have some competent middles who can do it, we just have to get the ball in position. I think we've always been heavy on the outside, a little on the right and hardly running it to the middles. We need to balance that out, and we have the hitters to do that which makes it fun."
Idaho will face Pacific, Montana and Washington State at its season-opening home tournament. Tickets are on sale now at www.GoVandals.com or (208) 885-6466.