A new season of Gorlok spirit: Coach’s largest volleyball team hopes for another record season

By Carlos Restrepo

In her tenth season as volleyball coach, Merry Graf has the challenge of coaching the largest volleyball team in her career at Webster U.

Graf said she is confident this team will bring her as much, if not more, success as last season. The women’s volleyball team, which now has 23 players, earned its fourth straight bid to the NCAA Tournament by claiming the conference tournament in 2009.

“I’m excited about the players that we are bringing in,” Graf said. “This is the largest team that we’ve had while I’ve been a coach.”

Graf said that the amount of players has been a blessing, as well as their skills.

“I couldn’t even guesstimate a starting lineup at this point, which is a pretty exciting position to be in,” Graf said.

She said volleyball is one of the most exciting sports to watch at Webster because it’s one of the few teams that actually play on-campus during the fall season.

“The other teams compete but they are not on campus,” Graf said. “It’s a really good way for students to get to know their sport when they can watch it here.”

This year’s team will also include five freshmen who live in dorms on-campus, which Graf said could help increase attendance at games.

“In years where we’ve had more freshmen in dorms, I find that we get more fan support from the dorm,” Graf said.

For nearly every fall sport, including volleyball, freshmen have already missed the window to join a team. Graf, however, recommends students not to give up.

“Just play the game as much as possible,” she said. “Whatever sport you are interested (in), most contact the coaches as soon as possible and don’t give up.”

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