Lady Eagle volleyball is entering its third year of competition since returning to Oklahoma Christian University. Under its second head coach, Jason Skoch, the Lady Eagles have started the season 6-2. Five of those wins come from straight sets in the Eagle Classic tournament, which Oklahoma Christian hosted.
The start of this season is the best performance since volleyball resumed competition in 2020. The Lady Eagles have just lost five of the 25 sets played so far. This has created serious momentum within the program which has been building throughout the offseason.
“Wins are precious no matter what,” Skoch said. “But it is great competing and winning [against] better teams.”
Senior Kelsie Schiefelbein said the hope surrounding this team has been high ever since returning to campus, and getting off to a hot start just heightened this momentum.
“After our first weekend, I am extremely hopeful,” Schiefelbein said. “We have the potential for a great year, and I am looking forward to all that comes with it.”
The Lady Eagles got off to this impressive start despite a young roster with 14 underclassmen, including seven true freshmen and two more redshirt freshmen.
Last year’s team was the first to make the Lone Star Conference tournament, losing in the second round to West Texas A&M.
“The players are maturing and understand what is expected in a college team,” Skoch said.
Senior Kyla Chavez spoke on the team’s youthful roster and how it has affected things so far.
“We are young, but we have a ton of talent,” Chavez said. “We obviously have things we need to work on, but we can only get better from here, which is an exciting place to be.”
In the preseason poll, the Lady Eagles were picked to finish 11th in the Lone Star Conference after finishing 12th last season with a 7-10 conference record.
Skoch said that with this year’s roster the mindset and expectation have evolved. With players gaining experience as the season goes on these will continue to do so.
“Winning is a tangible thing so they can now see a real outcome to their work,” Skoch said. “This will only help encourage them to buy in more.”
Chavez’s expectations for this year’s team is to make a deep run in the postseason.
“I think we are going to surprise some people as the season goes along,” Chavez said. “I expect us to make it far into the postseason this year.”
Conference play begins on Fri. Sept. 16, when Oklahoma Christian travels to Eastern New Mexico.
The Lady Eagles will continue their season on Thursday, Sept. 8, when they travel to Austin, Texas, for a three day tournament, where they will face off against Eastern New Mexico, Texas A&M Kingsville and St. Edwards.