June 5, 2013

Women's Volleyball Wraps Up Spring Schedule

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – With a new coach at the helm and a number of new systems being implemented, UCSB women's volleyball's spring schedule proved to be even more important this year than in past seasons, and head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch is happy with the results so far.

"The spring has allowed us a great opportunity to work through different lineups, to improve as a team each week, and to grow into our new systems that have been implemented," Lantagne Welch said.

Lantagne Welch's spring program included six weeks of intensive practices, a pair of tournaments – one at USD and one at Loyola Marymount – and a pair of competitions against Big West rival Cal Poly.

UCSB's new head coach saw plenty of improvement from her team, both on and off the court.

"Leah Sully's drive and effort off the court to take on more of a leadership role with the team has been impressive," Lantagne Welch said.

She continued, "on the court, Jenna Wilson and Katey Thompson were some of the most effective performers in our competitions."

Most importantly, the coaching staff felt that the team understood and embraced the new strategic elements that were installed.

"This year, we will try to run a more balanced offense, and we successfully began that transformation over spring," said Lantagne Welch.

"As a new staff, we were encouraged that the entire team really bought into the new system and the expectations that our staff has put into place."

The Gauchos will kick off the Lantagne Welch era on Aug. 30, when they host Stanford in the season opener at the Thunderdome.