The Union University volleyball team has put together a very successful first five years and year number six looks to be no different. The Lady Bulldogs are returning all but one starter from last season’s team plus have added five very talented recruits to add some punch to an experienced group.
Four seniors will lead this group in 2003. Erin Bayne led Union in 2002 at the setter position with almost 1,400 assists and also led with 140 service aces. Lindsay Stahlberg is returning as an outside hitter. Stahlberg led Union last year in kills with 409. Jennie Glassey is another hard hitting outside hitter for the Lady Bulldogs. She finished third on the 2002 squad with 356 kills. Crystal Abel rounds out the senior class as a returning outside/middle hitter. Abel finished the season a close second behind Stahlberg with 399 total kills. The four players were a large portion of Union’s attack in 2002 and will no doubt be called on to lead this very talented and experience Lady Bulldog team of 2003.
The junior class is also made up of four players, two of which are returning players and two transfers. Allison Shein is a returning outside hitter that tallied 220 kills in 2002. Nicole Garber is returning from a season in which she was second on the team in assists with 70 and second with 75 service aces.
Transferring to Union this year from Lee College in Texas are juniors Gladys Wandera and Phylis Anyango. Wandera is a 6-2 middle hitter and Anyango is a 6-3 outside hitter. Both players bring a powerful game to Union and should add instant offense in 2003.
The freshman class is made up of three players that are all great athletes. Lindsay Holmes, a defensive specialist from Franklin, Tenn., Kelly Huffines, an outside hitter from Nashville, and Purity Ogolla, a setter from Kenya will all have the opportunity to contribute this season.
Union’s head coach Brian Dunn has added players to the 2003 squad that can step in immediately and produce. The Lady Bulldogs are now a more potent team and have depth at every position. Union won the TranSouth regular season championship in 1999 and 2000. This season should see Union right back up their in the mix in an increasingly competitive conference. The Lady Bulldogs also look for their sixth straight NAIA Region XI Tournament appearance with the chance to advance to the NAIA National Tournament for the first time.