Senior captains Jordyn Barrette, a Tremper graduate, and Haley Horner, agreed with their coach.
Barrette, a setter, is getting her opportunity after four-year starter Ellie LeCount, who was an AVCA All-American first-team pick last year, ended her collegiate career in the national semifinal.
Missing out on one last go-around would have been a tough pill to swallow, Barrette said.
“That would have really been a bummer,” Barrette said. “We had a four-year starting senior who just graduated last year, so I didn’t get a whole ton of playing time. I’m just really happy to get to lead my team this year.”
Barrette said she’s juggling plenty this spring, but is more than happy to do the balancing act.
“Usually, we’d be done, and I wouldn’t have any volleyball this spring,” she said. “It’s crazy that we’re still playing volleyball this season. I’m a nursing student, so I’m doing clinicals full time, so it’s really busy but awesome at the same time.”
Horner, who hails from Wheaton, Ill., and was an AVCA honorable mention pick, may take advantage of an extra year of eligibility offered by the NCAA because of the pandemic, but regardless, is just excited to be back with her teammates.
“It’s really important,” she said. “It could be my last year ever playing. I’m open to maybe coming back. My group of seniors, I’m really close to. I just want to have a fun last year with them.”