By: Taylor Browne/GCU Staff
With fall pre-season rolling in, Lopes Head Coach Kristine Naber prepares for a new team and a new season.
Coming off the Lopes’ second consecutive Mountain West Volleyball Conference championship and ninth-place finish at the West Region Challenge last spring, Grand Canyon University Women’s Club Volleyball looks to make progress in the third season.
“I am looking forward to the growth of the program and creating a culture that gets students involved,” Naber said. “It’s been fun to watch it grow from 20 athletes to 40 athletes to potentially more athletes this year.”
The defending champs proved that their recent success bodes well for their prospects in 2018-19.
“Our goal is to represent the university with success and to win another conference championship,” Naber said. “We’ve done it twice, so let’s keep it going. It’s about forming friendships, having a great student experience, and having the best and most competitive teams.”
With high hopes of continuing the winning streak and building the program, Naber wants to motivate and encourage her athletes when stepping out on the court.
“I want to see effort, and I want to see a great attitude,” Naber said. “When you have both of those things stepping onto the court, you are going to build relationships, be challenged in practice, and come out successful.”
Having 21 years of coaching experience at the NCAA Division I and II levels, Naber knows just what to look for in building a team.
“It is all about seeing what kind of skill level we have, looking at the team chemistry, and evaluating the teams for spring season,” explained Naber. “It is important to improve on our weaknesses, and be able to develop those into strengths for the spring season. They will be challenged with each skill-from the beginning of the season to the end of the season.”
Opportunity and optimism drive the Lopes this season. As of now, it is all about support and upholding a welcoming culture for GCU Women’s Club Volleyball.
“Representing GCU is first and foremost, but reaching out to the community and building that culture is key for GCU Club Sports athletes, the community, and even the NCAA sports,” Naber said.
Interested in joining the women’s club volleyball team? Contact the coach to learn more!