The Cayuga Community College volleyball team has the talent and drive to improve on its 2017 showing and challenge some of the top teams in the Mid-State Athletic Conference in 2018, according to new Coach Morgan Haberer.A Cayuga volleyball alum, Haberer is taking over as head coach for the Spartans in 2018 after working as assistant coach in 2017. She said emphasizing new tactics and techniques should build on the talent already present on the team. "The team is really working well together and executing everything we've worked on during the preseason. They've been very coachable, and now it's just a matter of bringing the same teamwork to the games," she said. "I'm hoping this year we can keep the positive practice environment and carry it over to the games and be at our best."
The Spartans have a young team this season, with only Brooke Burton returning from the 2017 team. Haberer lauded captains Burton and Taylor Jackson for leading the team and helping prepare the young squad for the upcoming season. Both Burton and Jackson are outside hitters for the Spartans. "Brooke has improved immensely from last year. She's gotten to be such a strong hitter, such a good defensive and offensive player, I think she's really going to do great this year," said Haberer. "Taylor's got that aggressiveness and the leadership that a coach loves to see, especially with freshmen players. She's really going to hold this team together."
This preseason saw the Spartans focused on identifying and improving their weaknesses, learning plays and developing their use of short serves. The work paid off in the team's lone preseason scrimmage against Wells College, said Haberer, where the Spartans were strong offensively and identified several defensive areas to improve before the start of the season. With the team's dedication and talent, Haberer thinks the Spartans should be more competitive in the Mid-State Athletic Conference, including against the usual division leaders from Jefferson, Broome and Corning community colleges. "We're focused this season on developing the players' skills, and making sure they're enjoying themselves and doing what they love. They didn't start playing volleyball because they hated it, and I don't want them to end playing it because they hated it," she said. "I really want the program to blossom and have people look at us at games and tournaments and say 'they're having fun and winning, I want to play for that team.' That's the atmosphere I want to build."
The Spartans kick off their season August 28th at SUNY Broome.