QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- Injuries are part of sports. But the injury bug has already taken a toll on the Quincy Notre Dame volleyball team.
Senior middle hitter Kari Ann Steinbrecher will miss the entire season with a leg injury while senior setter Kristen Gengenbacher hopes to return soon with a stress fracture.
However, that hasn't dampered the Lady Raiders mood.
One of the area's top outside hitters Cassidy Foley returns for her final season and several other players are making strides to try and pick up the slack.
Head coach Rich Meyer hopes his team comes together at the right time.
"I think we're just going to have to find the right chemistry. I've always thought that talent isn't always necessary to win and have a successful team. I think that a lot of times you have to have players that can play together. If you create the right chemistry I think it'll make a big difference," the veteran skipper said.
"The thing of it is we're going to have to go out early, and if we make a few mistakes, we're going to have to fix those things and hope that we can get a little better each time we play."
Meyer has beefed up the schedule to get his team set for the Class 3A postseason, and the players are welcoming that challenge with open arms.
Junior Quenna Keating says it will only help in the long run.
"I'm really excited. More competition makes us better and better. I'm looking forward to see if we really can step up to the plate and beat these teams," Keating indicated.
"A lot of teams underestimate us because we don't have a lot of height, but we just try our hardest."
According to Foley, "I think we have an experienced group coming back and I think that's really going to help us in the long run. We have a couple of young girls coming in (to the rotation) but I think for the most part we're pretty experienced."
Meyer says scheduling stiffer competition was done for a reason.
"We're going to have to pick up the level that we play at," Meyer noted.
"If we're going to be successful at the end of the year we're going to have be prepared for better teams."
QND embarks on a new season Thursday with a trip to Unity before heading to the Rockford East Tournament on Saturday.
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