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With a fresh face pacing the sideline, the Gaels are ready to take a leap forward

With an offseason of uncertainty looming, the women’s volleyball program found themselves at a standstill this summer.

Michael Ling — the team’s head coach from 2014-17 — resigned in early May, leaving Athletics with just five months to hire a replacement who, once acclimated with the job, would be pressed for time to build a roster and lobby recruits.

In late July, Queen’s filled their vacancy behind the bench with Ryan Ratushniak. After a five-year playing career at the University of Manitoba, Ratushniak segued into an assistant coaching role for the Canadian women’s and men’s national volleyball team, coaching in 50 different international games around the world.

When Ratushniak arrived to Kingston in mid-August, he was surprised with the quality of team he inherited.

“I kind of knew what I was getting into,” Ratushniak said, alluding to the research he’d done on the school and the state of the program prior to interviewing for the position. “[B]ut at the same time, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.”



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Many students stop playing sports once they come to college, but for one student, quitting volleyball was never an option.

Jenny Berrong, marketing junior, started playing volleyball in middle school and loved the sport ever since. However, coming to college, she knew her sole focus was on her education.

“College volleyball is a huge commitment,” Berrong said. “I knew that I wanted to graduate a semester early, so my degree was my priority.”

Even having a sole commitment to her education could not stop Berrong’s love for the sport, so she joined the club volleyball team in the fall of 2016.

Berrong found her place on the team and said club volleyball is a happy medium between intermural and the athletics team.

“We are extremely competitive and play big schools such as UT, Baylor, A&M and other big schools, but without the same level of dedication,” Berrong said. “You have time for your classes and time for a social life while being able to play competitively.”



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The No. 12 Bruins lost a number of seniors and have consequently been reliant on new faces – so far they have not been disappointed. Freshman outside hitter Mac May is second on the team in kills with 161 on the year. (Aubrey Yeo/Daily Bruin staff)

It’s a year of youth for UCLA women’s volleyball.

After losing six seniors, including All-American libero Taylor Formico and All-Pacific South Region middle blocker Jennie Frager, the No. 12 Bruins (11-4, 4-2 Pac-12) have had to rely on a relatively new roster.

And this lineup has not disappointed.

Freshmen opposite Mac May and outside hitter Jenny Mosser are ranked second and third in kills for the Bruins with 161 and 149 on the season, respectively. Sophomore middle blocker Madeleine Gates also leads UCLA in blocks with 64 this season.

In UCLA’s recent victory over Arizona State, those three led the team in blocks and kills.

“We’re definitely young in a lot of places,” said coach Michael Sealy. “When Mac is hot, we’ve got to use her more often. Jenny had a lot of out of system swings. But being the outside hitter in that position, you’ve got a lot of garbage you’ve got to deal with, so I thought she did a good job.”



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Kendall Glover serves at The University of Georgia volleyball game against Texas A&M University on Friday, September 29, 2017, in Athens, Georgia. The Bulldogs suffers their second straight weep in loss.(Photo/Jane Snyder,

While the Georgia volleyball team may not be first in the standings after the first full week of conference play, there is one aspect of the game at which they have excelled: serving.

The Bulldogs have a record of 1-3 in Southeastern Conference play so far. However, they currently lead the SEC in service aces with 1.63 service aces per set, in a conference that includes No. 2 Florida and No. 5 Kentucky.

Since first-year head coach Tom Black arrived at Georgia last December, the team has embraced a new focus on improving its serve and pass game. Assistant coach Aaron Benning has taken charge of coaching serving this season.

 “He’s done a great job in how he’s been training it and getting the girls to focus on different depths and speeds and movement,” Black said.

One of the keys to the Bulldogs’ success in serving has been the significant change Black has made in their style of serving. In the past, the team has used the topspin method of serving, but Black and Benning have implemented the float serve instead.



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New Canaan’s Emma Wheeler (11) and Caroline Eno go up to block a shot during the Rams’ win over Warde last Wednesday. — Dave Stewart photo

In each of the last two seasons, the New Canaan Rams came up one win short of qualifying for the state volleyball playoffs.

This year, they’ve reached that goal with seven matches still to come.

New Canaan punched its ticket to the postseason with a thrilling, 3-2 victory over the Laraulton Hall Crusaders Monday at NCHS. The Rams trailed after three sets, but came back to win 26-24, 20-25, 20-25, 25-21, and 15-11.

The Rams improved to 8-5 overall, qualifying for the state tournament for the first time since 2014. They’re also 5-4 in the FCIAC and are tied for seventh place in that playoff race. The top eight teams will play in the league playoffs.

The victory over Lauralton Hall was a barnburner, as all five sets were decided by five pr fewer points.

Senior co-captains Carson Allsteadt and Hayley Salvatore each delivered in the clutch win, with Allsteadt racking up a team-best 25 kills to go along with 24 digs, and Salvatore picking up 14 digs and a pair of aces.

Jessica Parrino led the team with 29 digs and had nine kills and four aces, while setter Emma Wheeler collected 39 assists, 10 digs, and four aces.

Carey Callahan was a strong force on defense with 17 digs to go along with one ace.



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Volleyball actions return on Saturday with the women and men’s games in the national league.

Winning both the men and ladies category of the UCU open Volley ball championship is an indication that the Uganda Christian University (UCU) Volleyball women team can win this year’s national league.

In an interview today,coach Protus Soita told New Vision that in the tournament which ended on Sunday, UCU beat top clubs Sport-S twice in the group stages and in the final, and also beat pre-tournament favourites, Vision Volleyball Camp, in the semi-final 3-2.

“Beating tournament favourites Sport-S in the group stages and VVC in the semi-final gives us hope and inspires us to go for the league because the girls now believe they can win it,” Soita stated.



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Watertown’s Brianne Korducki hits past the block of Milton’s Courtney Knutson (9) and Ashley Didelot (6) during Saturday’s Badger South Conference girls volleyball tournament at Oregon High School. Watertown met Milton again in the tournament final and won.

OREGON — Victories in its first three matches placed the Watertown girls volleyball team in the championship bracket and in an enviable position during Saturday’s Badger South Conference tournament.

The only downside was a 2½-hour wait for the Goslings’ finals opponent to be determined in the double-elimination tournament at Oregon High School.

While a few of her Watertown teammates took power naps during their downtime, 5-foot-10 senior middle blocker Lauren Burd chose to watch the matches and analyze tendencies of potential foes.



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ELROY – An opponent finally broke through to win a single set, but the Royall volleyball team still extended its win streak to four matches and remained undefeated in October.

The Panthers started their latest streak with a three-set win over New Lisbon in their final game of September. They’ve since followed with wins over Brookwood, Wonewoc-Center and Cashton.

Royall played at Brookwood on Oct. 3 to earn a pair of three-set wins. McKenzie Baeseman had 19 kills; Emma Gruen had 17 assists and Savanah DeWitt had eight digs for the Panthers in their win (25-11, 25-21 and 25-15) over Brookwood. They then cruised to a win (25-15, 25-9 and 25-19) over the Wolves. Baeseman had 19 kills and Gruen had 19 assists for the Panthers; Riley Nielsen led the Wolves with 19 digs and 16 assists.



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LOCKHARTVILLE, N.S. – For Megan Conroy, volleyball is much more than a sport: it’s her life.

Her first tattoo was a volleyball emblazoned on her foot forever – that’s a commitment. She’s played the game for as long as she can remember, and now, she’s helping implement the sport across Nova Scotia.

Conroy fills the role of technical director with Volleyball Nova Scotia. Her mandate will be to foster the growth and development of beach and indoor volleyball, with a focus on coach development – a task that shouldn’t be too hard, as she’s spent years coaching teams at almost every level.

“Without coaches, it’s really tough for our sport to exist,” Conroy said. “One hundred per cent of our coaches through Volleyball Nova Scotia are volunteers, so without the coaches, our athletes can’t develop and we can’t run our programs.”

Conroy said coaches are often former players who finished their playing career and want to stay involved in the sport.

“Coaches are essentially the nucleus of volleyball in our province,” she said.

Conroy said developing new and existing coaches could involve connecting them with mentor coaches in their area, improving their skills through coaching clinics, and other initiatives.



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When the Ahmedabad Smash Masters bought Indian shuttler HS Prannoy for a whopping Rs. 62 lakhs in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) 2018 players’ auction in Hyderabad on Tuesday, he became the costliest player for the upcoming season. Meanwhile, PV SindhuSaina Nehwaland Kidambi Srikanth were retained by their respective franchises.

It was an intense battle between the Mumbai Rockets and the Ahmedabad Smash Masters to secure the services of Prannoy. In the end, the Mumbai franchise realised that the Ahmedabad franchise was not going to back out at any cost and consequently, gave up the battle. The eventual cost of Rs 62 lakhs meant a mammoth increment (nearly 250 percent) for the young shuttler.



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