By: KAYLA SMITH
Head Volleyball Coach Jamie Ashmore-Pott and the Lady Titans are back in action on Wednesday, Aug. 26, at Bethel College as they match up against their cross-town rivals to begin the 2015-16 season.
Coming off of the 2014-15 season, where the Lady Titans competed in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament for the second year, they faced the Trinity Christian College (TCC) Trolls and were swept 3-0 to end their season. The Titans finished off with an overall record of 17-12 and 11-7 in their conference.
As the Titans take on the Pilots in their first game of the season, it will already be the fifth game of the season for Bethel.
In preparing for the start of the season, Ashmore-Pott said, “It will be interesting how we react to it, being our first game kind of the jitters, what’s going to happen. So, the first set’s going to be a little bit of a feel-for-the-game type of set. Figuring out how our energy is, how to calm ourselves down if we get too energetic.”
Coming with the new season are changes in the roster as the Lady Titans add five new players to their roster. Leeah Wimmer and Brandi Armstrong, jumped in with the team this past spring and will continue their time as Lady Titans this season.
The Titans gained a new outside hitter in sophomore Janelle Rehlander, a transfer student from Indiana Tech. Signing as freshmen this season are Tailor Schultheis (Elkhart Memorial) and Sarah Allison (Mishawaka High School), who are working to get in the flow and feeling the excitement that the first game brings.
These new players bring new talent, Ashmore-Pott said.
“We have some good offensive players—good defensive too—but we lost Krystle and Melanie Troyer last year. They were two key players for us in the back row. I am looking forward to some new players coming in and taking their role and seeing how they’re going to react to it.”
The Titans will be losing two more seniors after this season, Emily Kozinski and Kierstynn Combs, who have been playing under Ashmore-Pott for their four years as Titans.
“They are lead-by-example type of players and they’re really excited for their senior season,” said Ashmore-Pott.
Both Kozinski and Combs came to IUSB after playing a year of basketball at a different college. They decided to become Lady Titans and joined the volleyball team in the 2012-13 season.
“They have been great role models for the players. Even when they were younger, both of them came in and played positions that they have never played before,” said Ashmore-Pott, “They came in every day and were going to work hard, they wanted to be the best for their team.”
The 2015-16 season does not start at home, but check out iusbtitans.com for live updates.
The Titans come back Tuesday, Sept. 8 for their home opener, facing Olivet Nazarene University.
“They’re one of our biggest rivals in the conference. They are very equal to us, so we’re excited to get home and are really excited to see how we’ve done over the preseason and where we rank with them, it will be fun to see how we do,” said Coach Ashmore-Pott, “We love our fan base.”