November 5th, 2010
Edgewood Celebrates Pivotal Season
Eagles volleyball program earns first 10-win conference record
Edgewood Volleyball has spiked its way to a first-ever ten conference-win season, which included a 19-14 record, a 10-2 Northern Athletics Conference record, and an appearance in the NAC Tournament semifinal against the No. 2 seed Dominican University.
Head Coach Paul Schlomer says he is excited about this team, and that he has seen unbelievable progress during his past five years at Edgewood.
“We have definitely improved,” said Schlomer. “This is our first winning record since 1998. We used to have a lot of athletes that just enjoyed playing volleyball more as an activity. We have gradually gotten more talented recruits and become a team that’s more competitive and wants to win. We have surprised ourselves, and we believe in our abilities.”
Edgewood edged out the University of Dubuque and Marian University late in the season, and Schlomer credits the team unity for its success.
“The girls have great attitudes and good team chemistry. Each of them puts their self-interest behind the success of the team,” stated Schlomer. “Even if they never see playing time on the court, they have passion and love their teammates. They do it for one another.”
Schlomer started coaching during graduate school and found that he “had a passion for coaching volleyball more than academics.” Before coaching at Edgewood, he was the women’s volleyball coach at La Follette High School in Madison, Wisconsin. When Schlomer looks back on his career at Edgewood, he sees how much work ethic and dedication has changed the game with his student-athletes.
Schlomer explained that Edgewood volleyball had been strong throughout the mid 1990’s and then lost some power. He said the first few years he coached at Edgewood were a struggle, but his staff has seen the team demand more of themselves and one another in more recent seasons. He also stated he has a few current leaders on this team that bring a positive influence to the court during each practice and on game days.
“Senior captain Kim Lueck doesn’t want to lose, even in practice. Her play is wonderful,” said Schlomer. “And sophomore captain Mallory Palmer was ‘Freshman Conference Player of the Year,’ and is a very strong player for us. Those girls help lead the rest of the team. We are a young team doing great things with only one senior.”
Schlomer says the team has had great fan support this season, and he looks forward to the great things to come. Last year, the Edgewood Eagles finished in third place in conference play, and he has high expectations for seasons in the near future.
Said Schlomer: “I tell the girls, ‘Play confident. Play smart. Play aggressive. Play with control.’ We have taught the girls they deserve success through hard work.”