The Goshen College women’s volleyball team is off to an explosive start this season. After their first nine games, they have a record of 6-3 — a stark comparison to the first nine games last year, in which they had a 1-8 record.

With the new season, the Leafs have introduced a new head coach in Jeff Phillips, along with assistant coach Wyatt Bollinger. Sophomore Kassidy Faler, who plays libero, expressed her thoughts about the coaching changes.

“I like the new philosophy,” she said. “It is really big on team, community, and accepting your role on the team and that you will still be helpful.”

Last weekend, the Maple Leafs played in the “Showdown in the Woods” tournament at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College. The tournament featured four other schools: Alice Lloyd College, Brescia University, Midway University and Indiana University – Purdue University Columbus, the only other Indiana school in the tournament. The other three are from Kentucky.

The Leafs started the tournament on Friday against St. Mary-of-the-Woods, a game which they lost in three straight sets. Junior Gwyn Bellamy led the offense in kills with 10, while Kelsie Hankins, a freshman, contributed 17 assists. Meanwhile, Faler led the defense with 10 digs.

Their second game was against Brescia — this time, the Maple Leafs won in straight sets. Junior Emily Lynch led the team in kills with 11, while junior Sadie Brenneman had a strong performance with seven aces and six digs.

The win was the beginning of a four-game GC win streak.

In their next game against Midway, the Leafs started the game down 0-2, losing 17-25 and 18-25 — but from that point forward, GC completely turned the game around and reverse-swept the Eagles, winning the next 3 sets 25-11, 25-17 and 15-9. Midway has a very competitive program, with a record of 19-7 last season. 

After that major win, the Leafs went on to take down Alice Lloyd College 3-0 and closed out the tournament by beating IUPUC 3-1.

Looking forward towards the rest of the season, Faler says, “We want to beat some of the conference teams… we will continue growing and making that progress.” 

The Leafs dropped their Wednesday night match to Grace College, losing 3-1 in the Crossroads League opener.

The Maple Leafs travel to Fort Wayne on Friday to take on Indiana Tech in the first game of the Liz Lykowski Memorial tournament. The tournament will span two days, with two games on each day.