The 2019 season is shaping up to be one of the best in Head Coach Jennifer Buikema's tenure as head coach at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. This season the Cougars return five heavily contributing sophomores to the roster as well as one player returning from a full season injury at the same time as bringing in 10 outstanding freshmen from the Kalamazoo area.
The Cougar offense looks to weigh heavily on the talented skills of returning 2018 All-Western Conference 1st Team and All-Freshman Team recipients outside hitter McKenna Peters and middle blocker Ella Lewis, as well as returning 2018 All-Western Conference Honorable Mention setter and co-captain Madison McGuire. Returning for the Cougars and switching from middle blocker to outside hitter is Payton Polakowski while co-captain defensive specialist Kayla Yore will add leadership and consistency to the defense and serve receive. The Cougars also return outside hitter Kirstin Finnila who will be coming off a knee injury that took her out of the entire 2018 season.
Kalamazoo Valley adds 10 freshmen to the 2019 roster including two players who helped lead their individual high school teams to state championship titles. 2018 state champion Bronson right-side hitter Jolie Smoker will bring both power and aggressiveness to the offense along with 2018 state champion Mendon libero Amaijha Bailey who adds tenacity on both defense and serve receive. Outside hitters Shelby Krawczak (Three Rivers) and Destiny Wells (Kalamazoo Central) both will add depth to the Cougar offense and serve receive as six rotation players.
The Cougars will also look to freshman setter, Kristin Gibson (Galesburg-Augusta) for leadership on offense, as well as Megan Seeley (Portage Central) who has extensive club experience and can step right in to contributing to the offense. Adding to Kalamazoo Valley's serve receive and defense is libero Logan Jourdan (Centreville) and middle hitter Anastasia Clark (Olivet) who bring exceptional blocking ability. Rounding out the Cougar roster are walk-ons Kailee Croy (Mattawan) and Gabby Hall (Lawton) who will add depth to the lineup.
The Lady Cougars look to have a great showing in their first conference match on August 29 at Muskegon Community College at 6:30 p.m.