The Benedictine College volleyball team has a new leader.
The Raven Athletics Department announced the hiring of Victoria Hurtt as the new head coach late last month.
Athletic Director Charlie Gartenmayer said Hurtt was a standout among the candidates for the job.
“She jumped out to us! She had several interactions with the staff members and she has got a lot of great skill sets,” Gartenmayer said.
Hurtt comes to a Raven volleyball team that finished 8-9 overall and 5-7 in conference play last season, missing the postseason tournament scheduled March 2-8.
“I came to Benedictine to incorporate my faith into coaching. My main goal is win, but first and foremost before winning I want to build women for after college in making sure that they are getting what they need here,” Hurtt said.
The new coach was a standout volleyball player at Iowa State, earning a first team All-Big-12 selection and AVCA All American Selection. She also was two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection and part of the Big 12 Commissioner’s honor roll.
And that winning philosophy is evident in her approach to the team.
“I’m looking forward to building a program. I’m excited about building culture and getting the community involved and just building a team that continues towards a winning tradition,” Hurtt said.
The team met Coach Hurtt on last Monday and started practicing on Tuesday. Lots of players were impressed with what Coach Hurtt has offered, including middle blocker Haylie Dickerson, junior.
“I think that there’s going to be a lot of change, and I think that’s good for us because we are a very adaptable team. Getting new concepts and ideas of the game will help benefit us a lot,” Dickerson said.
Dickerson also believes the new coach will help boost the team chemistry more than ever before.
“She’s very focused on culture and building our team culture will help us do better on and off the court,” Dickerson added.
The volleyball team has lots of returning veterans for next season, only losing one senior and returning most of the starters.
The team has set some bigger goals for next year, including getting to the National Tournament.
Junior Defensive Specialist Hailey Folkers knows what the team must do to reach the National Tournament.
“Sioux City is our biggest goal, but we also need to beat the teams like Park and CMU. I think those are little goals that will bring us to Nationals. We’re going to grow as a team and keep on getting better,” Folkers said.
There is no schedule out for next season but fall athletes will return to campus in August. The team will continue to practice until the end of the semester.