By: James Barkley, staff writer
The Wofford women’s volleyball team is off to a good start this season and continues to gain momentum as they inch closer to the Southern Conference Tournament. Posting a 10-4 record against out of conference opponents, this team looks to have what it takes to make a deep run this year. The Terriers have been clicking well as a unit, but there is one individual that has stood out.
Catie Cronister, a sophomore from Chicago, Ill., has been a force for her team, and her stats stand with the best of the NCAA. Ranking 3rd in total points, aces per set and service aces, Cronister is proving that she is the real deal. Cronister is also tied 7th in total kills, helping to put her team in the their current position this season. Within SoCon, Cronister is leading in both kills and service aces.
Entering the year as a preseason All-SoCon pick, Cronister promoted high expectations for both her and the Wofford squad this season. As far as improving her play, Cronister said, “I know there are a lot things from last year that I could have improved on. Mostly my blocking and my defense were big focuses this year, as well as making less mental mistakes.”
Cronister credits a lot of her success to her history of enjoying the sport of volleyball, as her mom was a volleyball coach, and the help of her teammates. “I’ve always tried to keep that mentality of playing because it’s something that I love to do and I just try to let the other stuff fall into place. I also have some awesome teammates who help me to look good in a lot of those categories.”
Cronister also noted that despite being one of the younger members on the team, her older teammates have been insightful on how she can continue to improve her play. These improvements have not gone unnoticed, as Cronister has picked up two Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Week awards in week two and the week of Oct. 3-8.
This level of play is nothing new to Cronister, as she is following up an impressive freshman season where she was named Wofford’s first ever SoCon Freshman of the Year, while also being named to the Second-Team All-SoCon and All-Freshman team. Even before her collegiate career, Cronister was leading her teams to success, as she won four Independent School League titles and three regional championships. She is even ranked 11th in all-time career kills and 4th in career aces in the state of Illinois, adding to an impressive career that has continued at the collegiate level.
Having the right mentality will be key for the Terriers to make a deep run in the SoCon tournament, and according to Cronister, they have the right mentality to get the job done.
“We are going for a ring and want to win the SoCon. We have to practice with the mentality that every touch matters and take everything seriously, but we still need to be able to have fun and be loose because I think that’s what makes us good.”
Having a clear identity is an important aspect for any team to find success. The Terriers seem to have found their identity as the season has progressed and they plan to show the rest of the SoCon what they are capable of.