Future Looks Bright For Benson's Bears
April 28, 2008
GREELEY, Colo. -- Northern Colorado's volleyball team entered its spring season with two main objectives: to improve on fundamentals and to learn to survive without graduated seniors Abby Mayne and Dulcie Stone.
Well, with a 9-2 spring record in their rearview mirror, consider the last month or so a success for the Bears and coach Lyndsey Benson.
"We took some really big strides this spring," Benson said. "With the graduation of Abby and Dulcie, we lost a lot of our passing and defense from the fall. So that was a major focus for us, along with our blocking and serving."
Northern Colorado ended its spring slate Saturday, April 26, with a home loss to Colorado State at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion, but that followed a strong run through the month of April.
The Bears started their exhibition season March 29 with a 4-0 sweep through its home tournament, earning victories against Adams State, Regis University, Northeastern Junior College and Western Nebraska Community College.
Then came another 4-0 sweep, this one coming April 5 at Denver's Gold Crown Tournament, which included Regis, Metro State, Wyoming and the host Pioneers.
A 1-1 trip to Boulder and the University of Colorado -- Benson's squad took down Regis again before falling to the Buffaloes -- proceeded the home loss to the Rams.
Northern Colorado, which finished 10-20 a season ago, will begin its 2008 season August 29 and 30 at LaSalle's tournament in Philadelphia.
"With the training from the spring combined with our upcoming China trip," Benson said, "we will be ready to compete right away in the fall."
The Bears will embark on that China trip on Sunday, May 11. The team is scheduled to visit Beijing and Shanghai over its 10-day stay and compete in four matches against Chinese university teams while in the Far East.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for Northern Colorado volleyball," Benson said. "It will be the first overseas trip in school history for the team, and we are looking forward to experiencing international volleyball. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most involved with the team, and we are grateful for all the support we have received in planning a trip of this magnitude."
OF NOTE: Northern Colorado's volleyball team will host its Spring Grass Kickoff from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, on the Butler-Hancock Grass Fields.
Three divisions of play are being offered, including women's doubles, reverse co-ed doubles and fours (four players, beginner to intermediate).
The cost of the event is $15 for students and $20 for adults prior to Thursday, May 1, and $20 for students and $25 for adults thereafter.
For more information, please contact Northern Colorado assistant coach Tom Hunter at 970-351-2180 or at email@example.com.