Four Burning Questions for Denver Fall Athletics

Volleyball 100Can head coach Tom Hogan’s volleyball squad defend their 5-year regular-season conference winning streak and five consecutive NCAA appearances following the graduation of stars Becca Latham and Emma Willis along with season-ending injuries to outside hitter Taylor Joachim and to their best player, outside hitter Katarina Marinkovic? The addition of Louisville transfer outside hitter Amanda Green will help but…will a raw Pioneer team mature by league play? This will be DU’s most challenging season in recent memory. A repeat performance would be Hogan’s best coaching job ever at the University of Denver.

Soccer Ball 100Can DU men’s soccer (#18) overcome a 6-game fall road trip gauntlet with a winning record and gain momentum heading into the Summit League season? In a short 16 day stretch, August 30th through September 15th, they play road contests against Washington, Seattle, Indiana, Notre Dame, Stanford, and California. But why question the mad scientist Jamie Franks? He is an astounding 61-12-10 as head coach at DU.

Soccer Ball 100Can the Summit favorite Denver women’s soccer team duplicate last season’s results when they won both the Summit League regular season and conference tournament titles for the first time since 2013? With the return of their top three leading scorers Samantha Feller, Camryn McMillan and Hannah Adler and senior goalkeeper Brittany Wilson, expect the Pioneers to have another great season. Despite the elimination of the Colorado Cup for the best in-state collegiate women’s program this season, Denver still faces regional powers CU and CSU in the nonconference play as they tune-up for another title run.

Hockey100Though they’re more of a winter sport, DU Hockey’s 70th anniversary season starts in just less than two months. For now, we ask can DU hockey match last year’s fast 5-0-1 start with early games against Alaska Fairbanks, Lake Superior State, and Boston College (homecoming) – all games in the first 19 days of October? Denver’s undefeated record in nonconference games last year helped the Pioneers earn a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Now, the question is, can David Carle’s crew follow the same fast-start formula this season?

Be sure to watch for hockey “beat reporter” and managing editor Nick Tremaroli’s full hockey season preview coming next month.