Featured Athlete
Allie Brent
Allie Brent
Women's Volleyball
October 3, 2017

With the team featuring several new faces and a second-year head coach, it may be a bit surprising to hear Allie Brent credit "familiarity" for the SAU women's volleyball team's fast conference start this season.

But that's exactly what the junior middle hitter believes has helped St. Ambrose get off to an undefeated 5-0 start in CCAC play under head coach Dawn Kerr.

"Last year, no one knew what to expect. Dawn didn't know us and she was completely new to us. Everything was different. It took some getting used to for everyone.

"But this year everything is clicking. We know what to expect from each other and Dawn knows what we are capable of. It just took time and patience to work through some of the kinks."

Allie BrentThere were some kinks to work through. Last year, the Bees finished 10-20 and at 7-12 in the CCAC, missed the conference postseason tournament. But there was reason for optimism heading into this campaign. Along with Kerr taking the reins and installing her system just days before the start of the 2016 preseason, the team suffered three five-set losses and dropped two other matches after winning the first set all in conference play.

With a core group back from last year, Kerr also brought in a strong recruiting class, highlighted by several players familiar with her system (read Steve Batterson's article in the Quad-City Times).

Brent, from Springfield, Ill., is the most experienced of the returning group, having been part of the varsity team since her freshman season. And that has put the Elementary Education major in a leadership position this season. 

"I try to be a team leader. During timeouts, I'll talk to everyone about what I see and what we can fix. But the great thing is the whole team chips in. We get a lot of different views; it's not just a couple people putting in their opinions."

Nearing one-third of the way through the conference slate, just two CCAC wins behind last year's total, Brent and the Bees hope to keep rolling.

"We need to go out and continue to play to the best of our ability. We've done really well bouncing back, not just match to match, but game to game. 

"The team chemistry is so great. It's so cool to look at it now after a month, month-and-a-half and we've already made so much progress. We've gotten better, we've adjusted to Dawn's system, and it's showing this year. I can't wait to see more."