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Bulldogs Return Four Starters, Look to Replace Key Outside Hitters

Chelsie Brown
Updated: August 19, 2019 08:29 PM

The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) volleyball team returns four starters and 12 letterwinners from last year's squad that made it all the way to the NCAA central regional semi-final round. However, a new year means dealing with turnover and the Bulldogs have some big shoes to fill among their outside hitters.

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"They need to defend they need to block, they need to attack, they need to pass the ball," explained UMD head coach Jim Boos on what he wants from his outside hitters. "We'd like to get another heavy arm on the outside."

The team will look to fill the roles of Makenzie Morgen and Sarah Kelly who graduated from UMD following last season. One key returner for the Bulldogs is setter Emily (Torve) Balts. The senior captain got married over the summer. Balts provides stability among the team having been in the same role the past three years.

"As a junior, I've only had Emily as my setter here. It's nice to have that consistency, especially in a setting position. We have so much confidence in her," said UMD junior outside hitter Kate Berg.

"I think we just need try to focus on our side of the net and play smart. I think that's something Jim (Boos) is really focused on is having a really high volleyball IQ so, just working with the younger girls to get them up to speed," Balts added.

UMD will open up the season September 6 at the Palm Beach Atlantic Tournament in Florida.

Click here to look at the Bulldogs full schedule.

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Chelsie Brown

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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