V-Ball Bumps it Up
Returning this fall with nine letter-winners and almost all of last season’s top players, the women’s volleyball team is poised for a winning season. After many close losses in the 2011 season, this talented crew looks to improve on last season’s 8-20 record and 1-9 NESCAC standing.
On the defensive end, the Lady Cardinals are led by co-captains Jeanne McPhee ’13 and Katie Schad ’13, who in addition to their blocking prowess were second and third on the team last year for aces, respectively. Natalie Wildenradt ’15 also ended the season strong and will help the Cardinals defensively this semester.
With the graduation of the leading hitter Casey Reed ’12, this essential position on the court is up for grabs. Alissa Santucci ’13, Kate Centofanti ’14, and Emily Shames ’15 all had strong 2011 seasons and are definite contenders to continue Reed’s dominant hitting legacy. A talented freshman class should also add power and depth to the hitting ability of the Lady Cardinals.
In its middle players, this squad is loaded with talent. Led by the line of Kim Farris ’14, Monica Leslie ’14, and Laura Volgenau ’13, all of whom stand above six feet tall, the Lady Cardinals’ center will be hard to beat. Farris, Leslie, and Volgenau collectively had 5.34 kills and 2.29 blocks per set in 2011, which ranked among the highest marks in recent University history. Farris is also a key hitter for the team, and led the Lady Cardinals in aces last season with 59.
The squad is primed for victory under the tutelage of celebrated head coach Gale Lackey, who begins her 28th season after her recent induction into the Connecticut Volleyball Hall of Fame. Chair of the Science in Society Program and life-long volleyball enthusiast Joe Rouse will once again assist Lackey. Also on the coaching staff is Robbie Belden, a former standout player for the University of Connecticut. Belden returns for his second season coaching the Cardinals.
The women’s volleyball team opens the fall athletic season on Friday, Sept. 7 at the Trinity Invitational bytaking on Salve Regina University. There the team will also face Eastern Connecticut College and Lasell College on Saturday, Sept. 8.
The Cardinal women host their first home match of the season on Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. against Middlebury in the Silloway Gym.