Volleyball team travels to North Carolina to compete in tournament

Melissa Kollar

The Kent State volleyball team travels to Raleigh, N.C., this weekend to compete in the Courtyard Midtown Classic tournament.

Their competition is Virginia Commonwealth, host North Carolina State and South Florida.

The Flashes will arrive in North Carolina on Friday, Aug. 31, to face Virginia Commonwealth. They will take on North Carolina State and South Florida on Saturday and fly back home Sunday Sept. 2.

The star players include: Kathy Krupa, senior middle blocker; Hannah Herc, junior libero; Aleksandra Nowak, junior setter; Tinuke Aderemi-Ibitola, sophomore outside hitter; and Kelly Hutchison, freshman right-side hitter. Even though there are key players, the whole team is very close this year.

“We just played our first weekend together and got our ‘beginning of the season jitters’ out,” said Kathy Krupa, senior middle blocker. “This week, we have been really working and focusing on playing this next tournament. Now that we all know how we play, we all know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I’m a senior, and I feel like the team is the best it has ever been.”

One of the reasons the team is so close this year is because they all went away to a resort together. For three days, the players weren’t allowed to have their cell phones or watch TV. They all stayed in cabins and got to know each other.

The girls did a few team-building exercises while at the resort, one of which used a “rope of strength.” Every member of the team cut off a piece of the rope and decorated it, and then they tied it together again.

“Without one section of the rope, it’s worthless. The meaning was that we are all tired together with the rope as our strength. Every activity we did had a significant meaning to it,” Krupa said.

Exercises like these enabled the girls to become close with one another before they even stepped onto the court together to play their first game.

“I know the girls are excited, and they showed a lot of improvement last weekend,” said Mike Ashcraft, assistant athletic director. “They played really hard, so they should have a good weekend from what I have seen.”

Contact Melissa Kollar at [email protected].