Jacksonville State Volleyball is back and so is head coach Terry Gamble. Gamble is entering his second season as head coach of the Gamecocks, where he excelled in his first season.
“I felt really good about the first year,” Gamble said. “I thought the girls did a really nice job. I think they overachieved is what I think they did.”
The Gamecocks finished last season with an 18-16 overall record – the best they’ve done since 2009 when they went an impressive 27-8.
They lost to Tennessee Tech 3-2 in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament last season.
Gamble said this season will be a little different because of the youth.
“This year is different from last year in the way that we are extremely young this year. I have seven freshmen and I expect three or four of them to play a lot,” said Gamble.
He expects to be on the learning curve for most of the year with so many freshmen. One good thing about that is the future can be very promising.
“Our freshmen class is extremely good, our recruiting class coming in next year is very good, so I think that the future is very bright,” said Gamble.
One thing the Gamecocks have been working on this preseason is getting the freshmen in shape and up-to-speed. Gamble said they’ve been doing a lot of drills to enhance them thinking faster and reacting faster.
It’s not all about the freshmen, though. There are some familiar names and faces returning this year from last year. Emily Rutherford is a senior and she’s one of the leaders along with senior Samantha Bohne. Laney Torkelson is the third and final senior on the team. Charis Ludtke is a sophomore and Gamble thinks she’s going to be a “go-to girl.” Hannah Kirk, Allyson Zuhlke and Jennifer Hart are also sophomores who are all back from last year to contribute and help out in a big way.
JSU Volleyball will tip-off the first game of the season on Friday, Aug. 28 at 4 p.m. against Savannah State in the Kennesaw State Tournament in Kennesaw, Ga. The weekend tournament will continue with games against Alabama State and Kennesaw State on Saturday, Aug. 29.
“I’m excited going into the first match,” Gamble said. “After the weekend, it is going to give us a better idea in game situation what we have to improve on.”