Dominick Ingram, Sports Editor
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Auggie Volleyball team is looking forward to spring, hoping to build off another great season.
Last season they finished with a record of 23-7 overall, reaching the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) playoffs for the 4th straight year and reaching the NCAA Division III national tournament for the second straight season and fifth time in school history.
This year’s team has many returning upperclass students, such as Corina Evans, who is a Division III All-American and holds many records for the Auggies. Evans is one of two seniors on the roster for the upcoming season, with the other being Maddie Nierengarten.
Nierengarten brings plenty of experience and leadership to this young team, appearing in 51 matches in her career. Kayle Gjerde, a 3rd-year player, is also back this year looking to build off of the honorable-mention, All-American nod she received last season. Gjerde is looking to improve her performance from last year, though it may be a tough task since her numbers last year were exceptional for her first All-MIAC selection.
The team will be young this year, with a large incoming freshmen class coming in and only two seniors. When asked about this coming season, Nierengarten showed a lot of optimism. “I would say this team is different from last year because of the effects of COVID,” she said in a statement to The Echo. “We haven’t been able to do our typical team bonding that we usually do so much of in the summer which has slowed down some relationships. On the court [we] look different as well, [we’re] just now starting to play together we are finally able to get that dynamic we couldn’t have earlier this year. I am looking forward to connecting more throughout this year.”
With a successful coach in Jane Becker and strong leadership from upperclass students, the Augsburg Volleyball team will be prepared for anything.