Union University volleyball is entering its seventh season of varsity competition. In the short six-year history, the Lady Bulldogs have experienced a great deal of success. However, this season looks to be one real promise, as Union looks to not only participate in their seventh straight NAIA Region XI Tournament, but to advance to the NAIA National Tournament in the team’s short history. Union enters the 2004 season ranked No. 17 in the NAIA Preseason volleyball poll.
Union’s head coach Brian Dunn has seven returning players and two newcomers to help offset the loss of four players from last season. The 2004 roster is made up of five seniors, no juniors, three sophomores, and one freshman.
On the 2004 roster, four seniors are returning players from a year ago and one senior transfer addition makes up the five seniors. Leading the list of returnees is middle hitter Gladys Wandera. Wandera is fresh off her experience as a member of the Kenyan National volleyball team that participated in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. She is also the returning TranSouth Conference and NAIA Region XI Player of the Year from 2003. Fellow Kenyan, Phylis Anyango is also a very powerful outside hitter that placed second behind Wandera in kills last season. Allison Shein and Nicole Garber are two seniors that have been Lady Bulldogs since their freshman seasons. Both will again be starters on this year’s team. Shein returns as Union’s libero while Garber returns as Union’s starting setter. Garber led Union with 1670 assists in 2003. Newcomer Tedy Georgieva transfers in to Union for her senior year from Iowa Western Community College.
Three sophomores return from successful freshman seasons and will each see valuable playing time and add depth to a very talented Union volleyball team. Lindsay Holmes returns as a defensive specialist, Kelly Huffines is back in the outside hitter position, and Purity Ogolla returns as a setter see time as she provides a valuable backup to Garber.
Coach Dunn thinks highly of this group of players and believes this is the team that can advance further in the NAIA playoffs that any Union volleyball team in the past.