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Operation rebuild in full swing for Quinnipiac volleyball
By Shane Doyle, QBSN Staff Writer
Quinnipiac volleyball is in a rebuilding mode. No one in the program will deny that.
All in the program, though, think with great certainty that the program is on the rise and head coach Kristopher Czaplinski is confident in his group. He sees the potential in his current squad even though they are 0-5 so far in the young season.
“We take the positives out of everything, we take the positives out of every game, every point, every practice and as long as we can start focusing on that, everyone bought into the idea that we are rebuilding and we need to come together,” Czaplinski said as he starts his second year as head coach. “Until that happens we are going to take the positives out of everything possible.”
He has a team that features six freshmen and eight underclassmen, which is more than half the team. Czaplinski knows the hill is high, but he is supremely confident that this group of freshmen can be the foundation of a program that is on the rise in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
The Bobcats, who are bringing in a group led by Allison Leigh (Palmer, Ala.) and Emma Ogden (Crown Point, Ind.), are talented and ready to build the program back to respectability. Czaplinski is confident that this young group of women can set the foundation for what Quinnipiac volleyball will become.
With the leadership brought by the upperclassmen, led by senior captain Logan Riker (Bowling Green, Ohio), the freshmen are set on the right path. Even though Riker is five years older than them, she believes she can have an impact.
“Making the connections with them, being friends with them, understand what makes them who they are and just setting a good example,” Riker said. “One of my things was trying to lead by example, working the hardest in gym and just getting people on board.”
Riker, a redshirt senior who serves as libero, has seen the low points over her four years as a member of the Quinnipiac volleyball team, but she sees the light at the end of tunnel for this program.
“My whole goal when I committed to Quinnipiac was to help change the program,” Riker said. Obviously the past four years have been a struggle but we’re improving day in and day out and finding that success in my last year would be the best thing that could happen.”
She has stuck out these “struggles” that include a two-win season and the dismissal of former head coach Robin Sparks.
Even though Riker has sees the program going through a transition, she is still fully committed to this university and program. She thinks the future only looks bright, as she sees as talented a group as Quinnipiac has ever had.
Riker and Czaplinski recognize there will be problems along the way as the Bobcats try to rebuild the program, but Czaplinski preaches to come together as one united team.
“The biggest problem so far is that we’re not really playing as a team right now, but once we click we are going to be good,” he said.