BENTON TOWNSHIP — Lake Michigan College women’s volleyball coach Rob Elliott-Schafnitz is ready for the 2019-20 season to begin.

The Red Hawks are coming off a 12-21 season in 2018, Elliott-Schafnitz’s first at the helm.

“Last season was an improvement,” he said. “I think we had a better group of volleyball players compared to the previous year. They worked hard and showed great effort.”

LMC’s roster features three returning sophomores, including starting setter Emma Ruppel (Berrien Springs).

Middle hitter Mykaille Williams, outside hitter Aliyah Woodman, setter Audrey Longley (Niles) and libero Victoria Galindo headline a 10-member freshman class that has Elliott-Schafnitz excited.

“I had the opportunity to recruit my own players this year,” he said. “I think we’re heading down the right path. My team has a high volleyball Is and has played a lot of ball, which is a big plus. We’ll have a lot of weapons.

“Everyone coming in was pretty dominant. We just have to build our team chemistry and get our system down.”

The Red Hawks are aiming for a top-four finish in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association and a berth in the NJCAA Regional Tournament.

Elliott-Schafnitz believes his team has what it takes to compete with conference powers Grand Rapids Community College, Muskegon Community College and Glen Oaks Community College.

“I think our team is more well-rounded this year than it was last year,” he said. “I think we have what it takes to compete with those teams and to qualify for the regional tournament. We haven’t done that in a long time so that would be a great accomplishment.

“I’m looking forward to a strong year. We have a lot of goals on the table and we’ll see what we can do with them.”

Contact: mharden@thehp.com, 932-0371, @HPMaxwellHarden