August 31, 2011

Youthful Pipers open season at St. Olaf tournament

The old adage “you have to learn to walk before you can run” doesn’t necessarily apply when you have 12 new faces on your volleyball team. After a couple of weeks of drills and one scrimmage, HU coach Audrey Ludwig sends her charges running into the fire with four non-conference affairs this weekend in a tournament at St. Olaf.

 The youthful Pipers face Bethany Lutheran and Martin Luther on September 1. They come back for a pair the next day against St. Scholastica and Crown.  “This will be a good test,” Ludwig said. “These are all teams with a lot of veteran players. They know what they are doing. We will need to adjust quickly to be successful.”

Only two players – Outside Hitter Aisha Baker (Jr., Minnetonka, Minn.) and Middle Blocker Sam Greeney-Hamlin (So., St. Cloud, Minn.) return to the court from the 2010 Piper contingent.  Both players saw considerable action for the Pipers last season.

 The other dozen players will also be seeing their first collegiate action this weekend. Accordingly, a lookback at 2010 statistics reveal few insights into how the 2011 Pipers may progress.

 Ludwig said she tried several different combinations last weekend during a lengthy scrimmage. The mixing and matching will likely continue this weekend as the Pipers look to see who jells together.  “With this many new faces, the first couple of games may end up being a work in progress,” she said. “But we have had a good camp. The players have worked hard and are very enthusiastic. Now we have to start finding out who works best together. “

 Hamline opens their Hutton Arena schedule with a rematch against Bethany Lutheran at Hutton Arena on September 7 at 7:00 p.m.