Women’s volleyball forms bonds on and off the court

The St. Edward’s University volleyball team has had a strong year so far, with two wins, one loss and a home game on the horizon. 

Head Coach Sean Donahue and Assistant Coach Kim Morgal lead the Hilltoppers. Donahue is embarking on his 10th year as head coach for the program, which over time the team has brought home five Heartland Conference titles and recently surpassed the 200-win mark under his direction.

But winning is not foremost on Donahue’s mind.

“The challenges that we have as growing as a team—that is always the fun part—seeing how far you can get and how you can develop as a team,” Donahue said, when asked what he was looking forward to about the season.

It is clear that the volleyball team, from the head coach all the way down to the new freshmen, takes pride in their community and in each player’s individual success.

Senior Michelle Hundt is beginning her final season on the Hilltop.

“I am really excited for the team and their future,” Hundt said. “I am hoping I can make a strong impression on them to make it better for future teams down the road.”

For sophomore Kendyll Severa, the season is somewhat bittersweet.

“I am sad because it is the seniors’ last year, and they definitely have made an impression,” Severa said. “But I am excited because… our incoming freshmen this year are so strong and have so much potential.”

Their sentiment was reflected in the words of freshman Jessica Bushong.

“[The St. Edward’s volleyball team] is probably the best team dynamic that I have ever played with. How the seniors treat the underclassmen… carries down to each level. It’s been a really good experience in the past month coming into it and feeling part of the family,” Bushong said.

Support from the student body is also important to the team. 

“When we had Battle of the Saints last year, we had the biggest crowd we have ever had. It helped us with a win over St. Mary’s,” Donahue said.