After seasons of disappointment, including a final record of 7-23 last season, the Boston College volleyball team is on the rise. With a new head coach, Jason Kennedy, behind the bench, the Eagles are off to their best start in history. The Eagles won their first 9 games of the season, and currently have a 10-2 overall record. Junior Jill Strockis is one of the players that has been leading the charge for the Eagles. Strockis is second on the team with 108 points and 144 digs, and has an impressive 92 kills so far this season. A well-rounded player, she has 4 double-doubles already this year.
BC Interruption talked to Strockis after last weekend’s victory over UMass Lowell about why this team has turned around so quickly and the Eagles’ goals for the season.
How has it been adjusting to a new coach? How has the team culture changed?
Our team is pretty much the same because my class, the junior class, makes up such a big part of the team. [Coach Kennedy] has made that transition of going to a new coach the easiest thing ever. He’s made us feel really comfortable from the beginning and right when he got here he made tons of changes, obvious changes, that needed to be done - like speeding up our offense. He just came in here and implemented so many new things that made the transition easy and positive. It’s just nice to have a coach that you really want to play for - we all look up to him so much and want to play to make him proud.
I think my class being upperclassmen and having a little bit more of the leadership role has also really helped the culture, and our captains are doing a really good job.
As a student athlete for a non-revenue sport, do you think AD Martin Jarmond has also helped to shift the culture of your program?
Yes! I think he does a lot behind the scenes and he probably has more to do with our change than we even know. Even just something like this, bumping our media, makes us feel important and gives us motivation.
What are the team’s goals going forward this season?
One thing we talked about last week, we haven’t started ACC yet but we want to win every game at home - we want to “defend our house.” This coming weekend with Georgia Tech and Clemson - those are going to be some of the more beatable games in the ACC. The ACC is going to be a way higher level than the games we’ve been playing so our ACC opening weekend is really important.
Why should students and fans come watch BC Volleyball?
I think volleyball is one of the most exciting spectator sports - it’s really high-energy and once we get to ACC games the level is so high! [Ed. Note - BC Volleyball plays their home games in the Power Gym, located inside Conte Forum.]