By Seth J. Walker
The Eastern Michigan Eagles are coming off a 2017 season were they finished tied for third in the MAC West division and are picked to finish fourth this year. Eagles head coach, Kimi Olsen will rely on a veteran group of players to lead the way this season.
Senior outside hitter, Jordan Smith, led all players last year with 2.89 kills per set and was third on the team with 2.64 digs per set. Olsen called Smith “an integral point scorer” for the Eagles, but also displayed her versatility with her ability to be a six-rotation player.
Redshirt junior middle blocker/right side hitter, Cassie Haute is another veteran Eagle with versatility. Her 2.47 kills per set ranked second among returning players and led all returners with 98 total blocks.
Redshirt Senior, Mallory Rajewski will be orchestrating the offense at setter, after leading the Eagles with 891 assists. Her 2.80 digs per set were second most.
Senior, Alyssa LaFace returns after leading the Eagles with 5.12 digs per set. As the libero, LaFace will be considered the Eagles’ most important defensive player.
“We hope she can anchor or defense and serve receive to help us remain in system so we can run a balanced attack,” Olson said.
The Eagles only have 10 home matches this season, eight against MAC foes. Their only two nonconference home games will be Sep. 1-2 against Cleveland State and Harvard, respectively. That’s immediately on the heels of their match at Michigan in neighboring Ann Arbor. They begin their season Friday with two matches against Fordham and Central Connecticut in St. John’s Keiser Classic, and then finish the tournament, Saturday against Manhattan and host St. John’s.