Throughout the 2017 preseason, VolleyMob.com will be joined by guest writers from last year’s Top 25 teams as well as other award winners and All-Americans. These bloggers will give you an inside look at their teams, preseason training, team leadership and much more.
Setter Kristen Gengenbacher is one of the veterans returning from the San Diego Toreros’ 2016 NCAA Tournament team, which went 24-6 and finished 15-3 in West Coast Conference action. Gone, however, are three All-WCC players, including Player of the Year and All-American Lisa Kramer.
Gengenbacher, who was selected to the USA Volleyball Collegiate National Team which won the European Global Challenge over the summer, is one of seven upperclassmen on the 2017 roster. The Quincy, Illinois, native is one of four seniors alongside opposite Jayden Kennedy, libero Lizzy Tardieu and outside hitter Merve Tanyel.
The Toreros open the season in Honolulu where they will take on three NCAA teams in an Elite Eight side from UCLA as well as Hawaii and Marquette at the Rainbow Wahine Invitational.
Gengenbacher’s update after the first day of camp is below.
Kristen Gengenbacher here, a senior setter for University of San Diego Volleyball. I am so excited for this year, and I hope you are too! The entire team has been training hard all spring and summer, and we can’t wait to show our stuff on the court.
We kicked off report day with team lunch, meetings with compliance, sports medicine, and coaches. After our first double day yesterday (August 8), people are feeling more motivated than ever to get back out there. We lost three seniors last year, all three starters and pivotal players, so it will be interesting to see who steps up this year.
For the first practice, we separated by position and worked on individual skills. It’s a good opportunity to get the rust off and hone in on positional skills. It is a lot of fundamentals and slower paced drills, so they require a lot of focus and attention. After lunch, we had a meeting on nutrition, a quick break, and got back out there for our second practice. This practice added a lot more competition and team drills, and we all enjoy the competition aspect a lot more.
We have two freshmen, Roxie Wilbin and Hannah Patrick, and they are fitting in so well! Roxie was able to graduate high school and semester early, so she has been training with us for quite some time. Hannah also got to come early and train with the team this summer. Both freshmen work hard and already know all our drills, so it feels like we are playing with a very experienced team. Everyone gets along so well, and our friendships off the court will carry over onto the court.
Hope you enjoyed this small update on our preseason! Can’t wait to kick off our season in Hawaii, but looking forward to a great one in San Diego! Thanks!
2017 USD Squad. We coming for ya. #riseup #unfinishedbusiness pic.twitter.com/yYXHn51pvn
— USD Volleyball (@USDVolleyball) August 8, 2017