By David Allen

Sports Editor

Behind Leah Reinfranck ‘18’s 14.5 points and Emily Marguerite ‘15’s 28 digs, Denison Volleyball was able to wipe away Capital University 3-1 to win their first home game of the season. 

“This year is going to be a very competitive year,” Brittany Perry ‘16 said. Perry led the team in total attempts  with 42. “We have a lot of talent and great team chemistry.”

This win comes at a much-needed time for DU, who have struggled in comparison to previous years at the start of this season. With this last win, their record jumps to 2-3, a stark contrast from last year when the Big Red started 6-2 and the year before when DU started 5-0. 

“So far this year I think we have played ‘okay.’ I think that our win against Capital this past Wednesday is pushing us in the right direction,” Perry said. Rachele Lock ‘17 added, “We had a tough start at our first tournament but we have learned a lot from it.”

“We have been able to work on some things since then and have become a much stronger team. We definitely need to work on coming out stronger at the start of games, though. We tend to dig a hole for ourselves that puts a lot more pressure on us than there should be.”

Reinfranck added, “Sometimes we have a hard time playing our own game and not playing down to the other team’s level,” she said. “That tends to be our downfall, but I think that as the season progresses, we will get better at that.” 

Another key optimistic point is the team’s insistence on “no weak positions,” and a stingy defense that’s supported by, “a very consistent backw row that we can count on,” Lock said. 

A huge bright spot for the team is Marguerite, a crucial team leader who won NCAC Libero of the Year and first-team All-NCAC last season and has recently been named a part of the Bluffton Sommer Center Spiketacular All-Tournament team.

And while her presence is invaluable, the team perspective is not to depend on one individual, but everyone to step up.

“Everyone on our team needs to be a leader, whether it is vocally or if you lead by example on and off the court,” Perry said. 

Lock added, “On a fundamental level, everyone on the team deserves the same amount of respect because we have all worked hard to play at the college level and we all have something to contribute to the team.

“Anyone that is willing to work hard every day, not only pushing themselves but pushing their teammates as well, has the opportunity to be a leader on this team in my opinion.”

Reinfranck agreed with Perry and Lock, adding, “We hold each other to a high standard of performance and that makes us successful.”

It is not just the veterans of the squad that lead by example. The freshmen class does much of the same.

“I’ve been really impressed with the other first years’ talent and how much heart they have, just like the rest of the team! I believe that all six of us have something positive to offer this team,” Reinfranck said. 

Many of the freshmen have already shown promise, as along with Reinfranck’s team-tieing 55 points, Kristen Brennan ‘18 leads the squad with 9 serving aces and Kaileigh Poe ‘18 is third on the team with 15 assists.

The team focuses on perfecting fundamentals and drills in practice.

“A major point in practice has been for each of us to give a perfect effort in every drill we do. We’re all going to make mistakes, but it’s the effort we give and our goal of bettering the ball in every play that translates to a game,” Reinfranck said. 

The team will travel to University Heights, Ohio on Sept. 10 to take on John Carroll.