Eric Stark smiles before UM-Dearborn's loss to Lawrence Tech in October 2014. (Ricky Lindsay/MJ)
Eric Stark smiles before UM-Dearborn's loss to Lawrence Tech in October 2014. (Ricky Lindsay/MJ)
Eric Stark smiles before UM-Dearborn’s loss to Lawrence Tech in October 2014. (Ricky Lindsay/MJ)

By VERONICA RATES, Staff Reporter

The University of Michigan-Dearborn volleyball team ended its season without a single win, going 0-33. (0-22 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference).

On paper, it looked pretty rough for the Wolverines. But even with a winless season, there’s always room to point out of the positives as well as improve on the negatives.

Eric Stark, first-year head coach for UM-Dearborn, was eager and excited to take on this young squad. Stark is only the second coach in the program’s 33-year history.

The Lows

Other than the obvious low of a winless season, one of the biggest aspects for the Wolverines were the mental focuses of the game.

Momentum was huge for the team on both ends of the spectrum and sometimes it did not swing their way. Twelve players were returning from the previous year but only two were seniors, making this a fairly young team as well.

The Highs

As the season progressed, mental focus was becoming more and more clearer, and it was showing.

Games against Rochester College and Indiana Tech were some of the best performances of the season. Instead of looking at the game as a whole, taking it piece-by-piece and point-by-point was a major advantage.

Senior Rebecca Carley dominated the defensive side this season. Carley led the team in digs with a total of 331.

Offensively, junior Colby DeMare racked up 217 kills while Megan Ynclan was not far behind with 198.

Transfer-student Kelly Merkle from Northwestern Ohio was a big factor, and a huge leader in assists, taking 427 of the team’s 806 total.

Stark was announced as the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference’s Champions of Character coach for the 2014 season on Nov. 14.

Rates’ Rewards

Team MVP: Becca Carley

Carley gets the MVP, and with good reason. Her numbers speak volumes and as well as averaging nearly four digs a game, she gave the team huge momentum every time they hit the gym. Not only was she able to snag the extra dig, but was also able to be a leader on the floor. Her neon libero jersey makes her stand out just by looking at her but her game does all the talking. She ended her four-year career at UM-Dearborn with 1,139 total digs.

Most Improved: Raechel Warchock

Sophomore Raechel Warchock gets this year’s most improved. Starting off slow as a defensive specialist, Warchock put up some big numbers to help the team. Adding 18 digs against Concordia as well as 15 against Northwestern Ohio. She totaled up 116 digs this season.