The RCTC volleyball team may have just begun practicing, but Head Coach Amber Zitzow is already beaming when it comes to this year’s squad. It might be a younger team, but what they lack in experience they make up in talent. Read below to see what you can expect from the volleyball team this season.
It’s a young team
There are 13 players on the team, with just three of them returning sophomores. But Zitzow says the team is “very athletic and talented. Tons and tons of potential.” A lot of the freshmen are from southeastern Minnesota. And if you don’t know much about volleyball in this region, it means they’ve all experienced a high level of play.
There is also more depth this year. Last year the squad was filled out with just nine players.
The aim is to revisit the national stage
Rochester will host the national tournament in November, and Zitzow wants her team there. RCTC won the national tournament in 2015, and wouldn’t mind repeating that venture.
They play quickly
“We like to run a fast temp. We like to be aggressive out of system, not just pass the ball over.”
That’s how Zitzow explains the play style her team will employ this season. For anyone who has watched a Yellowjackets match, you know you can expect a blistering match.
It’s all about team chemistry
“A lot of it (doing well) has to do with team chemistry, if they belive in the system you’re running. This group just gets along really well,” even if only together for three days at this point.
There are more coaches this year
Tori Johnson has been a longtime assistant of Zitzow’s, but this year there are two other assistant coaches to help train and ready the squad.
Rocky Xiong and Chanda Riedemann are both on the roster this year.
“It helps having more coaches in the gym. They can hit at the ladies, run the drills, and I can just observe instead of being the one hitting at them. As many eyes as you can get and opinions – I like the coaches to tell me what they think. I want them to be honest with me.”
Bonus point: RCTC volleyball is a family
“It creates a long lasting bond. A lot of alumni come back to help at matches and practices. They ask me to be their references when they’re coaching a team.”