Natalie Geidel had a freshman volleyball season to remember in 2014, starting all 48 matches for Viterbo University and helping the V-Hawks reach the NAIA Final Four.
This season, the expectations have only grown, and she is looked at as a leader on offense.
"She's a great player and she's huge on our offense. We need her to be doing what she does, get as many kills," junior Sara Biermaier said. "She could help lead the offense in that sense."
Head coach Ryan DeLong said Geidel has to be the "go-to player," and the stud she became as a freshman if the V-Hawks are going to make another deep postseason run.
"Last year she had a big year and that was next to [Alicia Olson], so that kind of helped her, but she knows what's expected of her and she does a great job," DeLong said.
Through five matches in 2015, Geidel leads the team with 14 blocks and is second in kills. She said the game has slowed down for her, and she is not as nervous.
"I know it was really difficult trying to play against some of those tougher teams and trying to get used to the speed and everything," Geidel said. "But now that we've played against them enough, I feel like I've really improved on keeping up with that speed and contributing more."
Geidel contributed her share and more in 2014, finishing second on the team in kills and total blocks en route to earning MCC Newcomer of the Year and First Team All-MCC honors.
Viterbo ranked 4th in the NAIA preseason poll. The V-Hawks take on top-ranked Park University on Saturday in the Hampton Inn Classic.