The American Athletic Conference (AAC) has officially moved the 2020 women’s volleyball season to the spring of 2021, which affects the entire conference as well as East Carolina University’s team.
The Pirates’ volleyball team has faced many changes within the past year, which includes the addition of head coach Adler Augustin, who came to the Pirates from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Augustin said the team always hopes and wants to play. He said the team was a little disappointed about the transition, but understands of the reasons.
Augustin said the team recruits during the spring months, so it will continue to recruit in the midst of the 2021 volleyball season.
“The challenge will be more so on the staff. Usually, we recruit in the spring and recruiting will stay the same so now we have to coach our team and still find time to recruit.” Augustin said.
🅆🄴’🄻🄻 🄱🄴 🄱🄰🄲🄺 ☠️💜💛 pic.twitter.com/LXynbKj1NG— ECU Volleyball (@ECUVB) August 26, 2020
Along with Augustin, the Pirates have additionally brought in assistant coach Arturo Rivera from Wake Forest University. Rivera spent time as an assistant coach at Harvard University and volunteer assistant at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, according to ecupirates.com.
The Pirates’ volleyball program has had several changes throughout the last few months. The team added two transfers to the roster this past offseason: senior Camryn Allen and senior Alisi Motu’apuaka.
The Pirate volleyball team finished the 2019 season at 19 wins and 11 losses. With 19 wins in the season, only six of those were against AAC opponents. Their 2019 record is still an improvement from 2018, where the Pirates only won 13 games and lost 16. This season, the Pirates won five conference games against AAC opponents, according to ECUPirates.com.
Moving the season to the spring could potentially have some benefits for ECU, as Coach Augustin said there are benefits to the postponement of the season.
“I think the benefit is that we get to train before we play,” Augustin said. “Now, we came off the summer, we have a whole semester to get stuff moving in the right direction again, especially for freshmen.”
Augustin said the team will have more time to understand the system, familiarize themselves with college life, studies and volleyball.
After previous head coach Julie Torbett was not re-signed after her contract ran out, Augustin was hired. She guided ECU volleyball for seven years, and won 109 games as head coach, according to ECUPirates.com. Torbett has since gone to Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she will assume the role of head coach.
The new head coach Augustin joins a Pirate volleyball team which has steadily improved in the past couple years. On the current roster, the Pirates have six seniors, which could provide the necessary experience and leadership to continue to improve in 2021.