This is... Is... JMU Volleyball Soccer
Welcome to James Madison Volleyball. Nestled in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg offers JMU a wonderful environment for higher education and top-caliber intercollegiate athletics programs. This is an exciting time to be a part of JMU as our campus is undergoing tremendous growth. This growth on campus and within the student body has allowed our athletics teams to blossom and reach new heights. The 2004 National Football Championship changed the face of the JMU DUKES, creating the Power of Purple and the JMU Nation! Since my arrival in 2000, I have been able to bring my extensive player and coaching background to JMU. My focus has been on the development and management of my student athletes through a comprehensive approach to development. Our mission is to contend for the CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) Championship on a yearly basis. In order to accomplish this goal, there are certain areas of my program that must remain a priority. These three cornerstones are Academics, Player Development and Personal Growth. I believe that in order to win championships, there must be balance between these three areas. In all of these areas, we want to conduct ourselves as a first-class operation and always as champions. My staff has worked hard to find the right student-athlete who fits perfectly within the vision of our program. Each of my athletes has a passion for the game and loves to compete. They all want to be one of the reasons why we win championships. One of the toughest challenges for today’s student-athlete is to understand and commit to the special lifestyle that is needed to achieve at the highest level. Each one of the JMU DUKES understands this and is committed to this aspect. One of the more important aspects of this lifestyle is the commitment in the academic arena. The DUKES understand that time management is a critical component of academic success. Our academic advisor and staff work hard to make sure that each athlete has the skill set necessary to be successful in the classroom. I feel that our approach to player development is what really sets us apart from other volleyball programs. I believe that it is critical to develop the “athlete” in each player while developing their volleyball skills. We spend a great deal of time teaching each player how to move as an efficient athlete and are very detailed in teaching the technical aspects of the game. We also take full advantage of technology to help us teach each skill and in our tactical preparation for matches. I am very excited about the terrific group of athletes we have assembled for the 2009 season. With no seniors on the roster, we will be young. With that said, the group of athletes we have assembled come from an impressive list of club programs providing for a competitive daily environment in our gym. Our talented group of returners is led by two juniors, Lindsay Callahan and Lauren Fanelli. Fanelli, our 2009 captain, is a feisty, smart setter. The changing of the guard in the setting position is exciting for our program. Lauren’s personality and aggressive style of play will really change the look of our offense. Callahan, is one of our most seasoned and court-savvy players. At outside hitter, she has carried a major load of our offense and also has had a big impact on our ball handling and defense. This past spring, Callahan really made a big statement on the right side with defining blocking and her ability to terminate sets. Adding great quickness to the offense is sophomore, CAA All-Rookie middle blocker Kelly Turner. She has an exceptionally fast arm that creates great stress for our opponents. We welcome back sophomore Holly Wall to the lineup after missing a number of matches last season due to injury. She is a competitive, physical outside hitter who plays the game with intensity. She has worked hard in the off season to put herself in a position to be a threat for the DUKES. Rounding out the returning group of players are junior middle blockers Jessica Zeroual and Kelly Johnson and sophomore defensive specialists Natalie Abel, Leanna Heston and Morgan Maddox. Zeroual is our most physical athlete on the team. She had worked incredibly hard to become a contributor. Johnson had a very productive spring training posturing herself to be one of the most dominate blockers in the CAA. The DUKES are eager to get redshirt libero Natalie Abel back on the court. Having missed the ’08 season due to a knee injury, Abel is ready to impact the CAA with her great passing, defensive and ball handling skills. Maddox joins Abel in our defensive efforts, having gained important experience and confidence throughout her freshman year. She will add needed depth in our passing, serving, and defensive departments. Joining the DUKES is an accomplished group of freshmen. They will add quite a bit of height to the roster helping us to be more of a force at the net, particularly in the blocking department. Three of the five freshmen are 6’0’’ or taller with 6’3’’ middle blocker, Haley Jacobsen being the tallest on the 09 squad. Jacobsen is an agile athlete who has a big blocking presence. She will change the look at the net immediately. Adding significantly to our offense will be 6’0’’ outside hitter Dani Erb. Not only does Erb hit the ball hard, she already has a nicely developed arsenal of shots. She is an incredibly competitive person who will be a great complement to our returning outside hitters. Challenging Fanelli in the setter position is 6’0’’ Megan Wiechmann. Megan’s size as a setter is exciting particularly as a blocker. She has a fast release on the ball and will be able to step in and run the DUKES offense when needed. Our fastest player on the team will be defensive specialist Sara Dougherty. She touches a tremendous amount of balls, has great coverage discipline and has a natural feel for the flow of the game. Sara will bring a lot of stability to our back row play. Completing our freshman class is rightside hitter Meredith Riddel. Riddel has a long reach presenting a big block and good hands making her a good candidate for the position. Once she improves her strength and power base, she will be a great option. This spring saw many changes for the DUKES. Most importantly, the DUKES defined very specifically what they are going to accomplish and the process it will take to achieve these goals. Our staff brings a wealth of knowledge to the program. A great deal of technical change took place throughout the spring, so the staff is looking forward to putting these changes on the court. We also have a wonderful support staff to help us achieve our goals. They all will challenge the team on a daily basis. We all, including players, coaches and support staff, are fully committed to our mission of winning CAA Championships.
I am very proud of how my program has developed throughout the past nine seasons. I am most proud, though, of the young women that graduate from James Madison and the volleyball program. They all leave JMU with a great education and have achieved major milestones on the court and as people. This is what makes JMU such a special place to coach. To have that type of impact on a young person is what makes our profession so unique. As a staff, our objective is to have our student-athletes enjoy a very special experience at JMU. We want our players to have great confidence and a sense of achievement as both a person and athlete. We want them to feel great about being a student-athlete at JMU and how hard they have worked to achieve their ultimate goals. I invite you to learn more about my staff and team in this guide. Thank you for your interest in James Madison Volleyball. I hope that you are intrigued and find this an exciting place to be. My staff looks forward to sharing our program with you. GO DUKES!
Disa Garner Disa Garner
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