Justin Ingram introduces new system to veteran Saluki Volleyball team

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    Aug 13, 2012

    By Robin Thuringer

    CARBONDALE, IL - ices

    Justin Ingram arrived on campus in January with a significant task in front of him.

    The new Saluki coach inherited a volleyball program that had just finished a season with a record of 9-18. The team had gone 8-28 in Missouri Valley Conference play in the previous two seasons.

    Ingram started at square one, using winter workouts to implement a new style of volleyball to the nine returning players.

    "The system I introduced is different," he said. "The set is at least twice as fast as it was, and the biggest change is the defensive package. It is a swing set, so the movement is completely different."

    The returning players embraced the new system immediately.

    Justin Ingram

    "Everyone is a lot more energetic -- it has been refreshing and it is exciting learning something new," said senior Bailey Yeager. "There are higher expectations, so it is pushing everyone to work that much harder."

    The spring season offered the first opportunity for Ingram to watch the team in action.

    "I got to help train the team in the spring and that was really exciting," said Ingram. "When the spring was done we really saw where we could be and now the bar is raised and the expectation level is pretty high in the gym."

    That sentiment has carried over into pre-season camp, which began last week.

    "It has been a great transition because we have had time since Coach got in here in January to establish the system," said senior Rachael Brown. "We have higher expectations for each other and we are holding each other accountable."

    Alysia Mayes and Laura Thole return for their senior season alongside Brown and Yeager. The four seniors hope to end their careers at SIU in a winning fashion.



    "We would really like to finish top-three in the conference and have a chance to make it to the NCAA tournament," said Yeager.

    Ingram understands the sense of urgency for the seniors and their desire to depart SIU with a winning record.

    "The four seniors are dynamite," said Ingram. "Their vibe, energy and how they are leading is affecting the others and it is trickling down. They want to be great."

    The Salukis will open the 2012 season at the Memphis Invitational on Friday, August 24.