Athletics & Recreation

Volleyball: Playing at a quicker pace

Coach Jesse Mahoney has hit the ground running since he was hired in January, and he hopes that theme remains in effect during his inaugural season with the Pioneers. Mahoney, who helped lead Colorado State University to the NCAA Tournament during each of his seven seasons as an assistant with the Rams, wants DU to play at a quicker pace.

“The biggest thing is that our offense will run quite a bit faster,” Mahoney says. “With the size we have on the outside, we need to get the ball outside quicker. We spent most of the spring getting a feel for what that’s like. Defensively, the intensity of this group from the time I got here to now—it’s a different animal.”

The Pioneers, who went 13–15 last season, have a few holes to fill with the graduation of Alyssa Bonelli and assists leader Julia Cawthra, but those losses could be offset by a healthy return to form from Faimie Kingsley. Kingsley earned first team All-Sun Belt Conference honors after leading the team in kills and blocks. However, a recurring problem with shin splints forced her to undergo surgery in January to insert a rod into her tibia. (Kingsley endured a similar procedure on her other leg two years earlier.)

As Kingsley rounds into form, Mahoney said he expects improved play from junior Colleen King and senior libero Lyndi Johnson.

“I hate to single anyone out, because everyone has been doing a great job, but those two both had very productive springs,” Mahoney says. “One of the nice things about this group is our depth. There will be a lot more competition for spots, which will make the whole group better.”

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