The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team opened its spring season Saturday by hosting and participating in the EMU Spring Tournament. The matches were scored, however, the wins and losses did not count toward regular season standings.
The five other teams in attendance were Madonna University, Northern Michigan University, Oakland University, Concordia University and an EMU alumni squad featuring former Eagle middle blocker Kristen Baker.
Eastern took on Madonna (25-19), NMU (22-25, 25-20, 16-18), Concordia (25-7, 25-9) and Oakland (29-27, 18-25) throughout the course of the day.
EMU coach Kim Berrington was pleased with the way the team performed.
“All in all, I thought we were solid,” Berrington said. “Some of the things we’ve been working on, we got to work on with someone else, so that was good. We had four people play who last year didn’t play much at all. [Katherine] Krasowski came off of back surgery, Stacey [Perinar], the freshman outside hitter basically didn’t play much at all, Kelsey Jones hasn’t played much and Alexa [Salsbury] the walk on never played. So we have a lot of young bodies out there.”
Perinar made an impression during the tournament. With the team looking to fill the void left by graduating senior Rachel Iaquaniello, Perinar’s play was enough to turn some heads.
“It was good to see her swinging high, getting kills high,” Berrington said. “The thing that’s most improved about her is her blocking. She did a good job blocking. It was nice to see her do probably a B job in the back row. Yeah, it was a great day for Stacey.”
The team also had a strong day in its serving. Berrington said the key was monitoring the speeds on the serves, which were in the 35-39 mph range.
“We’re trying to increase the speed of our serves, so we can serve tougher,” Berrington said. “Any time we got good hits on the ball, we were rewarded. We got an ace, so we got a free ball back. And to be honest, we didn’t miss that many serving fast. When we missed, we were serving slow and hit the net. And that’s where we need to be more aggressive: serving nets.”
Moving on to the next match against Ferris State March 29 at the Convocation Center, Berrington said the next thing she and the team will be focusing on is improving the passing game and getting better on defense.
“Eagle volleyball has always been founded on good defense,” Berrington said. “Leading the [Mid-American Conference] in digs per game, being tough in that area. We have the capability of being more aggressive in that area.”
Match time has yet to be determined. Check out our website: www.easternecho.com/section/sports or our Twitter: @TheEasternEcho for information as soon as it is available.