First-year coach David Kwan has great expectations and is excited about his first season with Adrian College. Kwan will be the first to admit that higher expectations are expected via a strong supportive administration at Adrian that will allow him to build a winning tradition, provide great facilities, and travel to better opponents; with all of the aforementioned attracting the type of recruits needed to provide a winning foundation.
Kwan's first goal will be to take the team from last season's seventh place MIAA conference finish to a position to challenge for a conference tournament berth. Once that goal has been attained, Kwan hopes to achieve Top 25 national status. One upside for Coach Kwan will be the demographic recruiting area - having spent nearly the past decade scouting the same region for Defiance College.
The biggest change for the Bulldogs' will be the implementation of a new faster offense, hopefully to compliment an already solid defense. The key to the season will be how the team comes out from training camp, according to Coach Kwan, "We are returning a pretty good defensive group headed by junior Kristi Walker (Livonia, Mich.). She led most of last year in digs per game and we are expecting a lot of the same from her this season. She will be our consistent person in the back row after having a great spring and solidifying her position as starting libero."
"The other returnees that we think are going to play large parts to our success are senior Kristy DeClercq (Livonia, Mich.), who is the captain and a starting setter. Another notable senior who may be seeing time setting is Ashley Vernier (Woodhaven, Mich.)."
"One force in the middle will definitively be senior Stephanie Holloman (Southfield, Mich.). She is our senior middle blocker and will help run our faster offense we put in place in the spring."
"With a team goal of putting ourselves in a position to finish third behind Calvin and Hope," Kwan believes a big part of that success will come from juniors Danielle Bogedin (Utica, Mich.) and Ellie Mindick (Canton, Mich.). Bogedin will return on the right side with a big block and solid sideout game, while Mindick, also left-handed, will be expected to produce on the outside and defensively. "Together, they will hopefully anchor a lot of our offense on both the pins."
Two other juniors, Emily Ribant (Flushing, Mich.) and Casey Donovan (Lapeer, Mich.), will try to crack into that important defensive specialist role. "We are hoping for big things from these two defensively this season." Kwan believes that, a disciplined and aggressive defensive transition game will be the key to outlasting some of these bigger teams in the MIAA.
Kwan is also counting on three big recruits who may be seeing starting time right away. Included in that freshman group are: Jordan Brisson (Waterford, Mich.), Makahla Jacobs (Toledo, Ohio) and Chelsea Jordan (Swartz Creek, Mich.).