MOSCOW, Idaho—Vandal volleyball took their talents to the sand on Monday to open its fifth week of spring practice. With the weather beginning to feel like summer the Vandals used the change in venue to mix up their perspective and keep their bodies fresh.
“I love it [being outside],” newcomer Haylee Mathis said. “It is a lot easier on our bodies. There is not as much of an impact. It really gives us a chance to look at the court and do a lot of reading with our defense.”
Idaho defeated Lewis Clark State College and Spokane Fall CC last Saturday, hitting the mid-point of the spring season. The Vandals started the spring with just 10 players on the roster. Only seven of those returners saw action as a Vandal last year. Mathis, currently the lone setter on the roster, joined the team this spring, stepping into a huge role. She began her career at Washington State, redshirting the 2014 season. This spring she continues to adjust to her new role of running the Vandal offense.
“It is a lot different from what I am used to playing,” Mathis explained. “It is a lot quicker offense here. Our hitters are very athletic and dynamic. They are able to get to any ball I give to them. I love running the quick offense here.”
Mathis will be looked to to replace the role vacated by Meredith Coba and Natalie Jensen. Coba graduated as Idaho’s sixth all-time leader in assists. Jensen had a fantastic freshman season cut short by injuries, ultimately ending her playing days. Mathis will have relief in the fall. Incoming freshman Megan Ramseyer will join the team in August. She is slated to fit in as a setter or an outside hitter.
Idaho continues the spring season on Saturday, April 16, at Gonzaga. The Vandals will play Gonzaga, Central Washington and Seattle U. Idaho’s first match is set for 9 a.m. PT.