2011 GNAC Women's Volleyball Preseason Poll Announced
Article courtesy of GNAC communications.
The 2010 GNAC Championship runner up, Rivier College, has been chosen as the 2011 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women's Volleyball preseason favorite in a vote conducted by GNAC coaches. Emerson College came in second place while 2010 GNAC champion Johnson & Wales University came in third place in the 2011 preseason poll.
Finishing up the top eight teams in the 2011 preseason poll are fourth seed Emmanuel College, fifth seed Norwich University, sixth seed Mt. Ida College, seventh seed Lasell College, and eighth seed St. Joseph's College of Maine.
The Rivier women's volleyball team completed a successful 2010 season, reaching the GNAC Championship game and reaching the twenty win mark for the sixth straight season. Led by the GNAC Coach of the Year, Craig Kolek, the Raiders finished the year with a 23-11 overall record and 11-1 in the GNAC, receiving the #2 seed in the postseason tournament. Rivier swept 7th-seeded Lasell and cruised past 3rd-seeded Emerson 3-1 to advance to the GNAC Championship game. The Raiders eventually fell in the championship game to JWU in a tough 3-1 loss.
Returning this season is junior outside hitter Kenna Finlayson. Finlayson received her second straight First Team All-Conference selection, setting two single season Raider records on offense, tallying 480 total kills and 4.00 kills per set. Finlayson also led the team with 81 aces for the season. Also returning for the Raiders is a fellow First Team All-Conference selection, junior libero Emileigh Cenedella. Cenedella was named the 2010 Defensive Player of the Year and led the Raiders with 488 digs for the season. Middle hitter Nicole Peacock was named the 2010 GNAC Rookie of the Year, recording 214 kills and setting a Rivier single season record in blocks with 99.
The 2011 Rivier women's volleyball team opens its season away on Friday, September 2nd with a non-conference match up against Eastern.
Emerson wrapped up a successful 2010 campaign with a 22-13 overall record and went 10-2 in the GNAC. They received the #3 seed in the GNAC tournament before being beaten in the semifinals by eventual GNAC Championship runner-up Rivier.
For the 2011 season the Lions will be led by senior setter Katie Bailey, a First Team All-Conference selection in 2010. She ranked first for the Lions in assists and second in aces. She was awarded for her exceptional offensive skills, being named to the All-Tournament team at the Gallaudet Tournament in Washington, D.C. Also returning for Emerson this year is Second Team All-Conference selection Kelsey Scanlon.
The Lions open the season away at Wheaton (MA) on Saturday, September 3rd.
The Johnson & Wales Wildcats are coming off of a 2010 GNAC Championship and trip to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III New York Regional. They finished the 2010 season with a 24-13 record and an 11-1 mark in the GNAC, earning them the top seed in the tournament.
Interim head coach, Scott Reslow, will return junior outside hitter Michelle Johnson who led the team with 305 digs in 2010. Also returning for the Wildcats are seniors Audrey Warren and Abbey Reedy, first and second on the team with 63 and 55 total blocks, respectively.
JWU opens the season away against Brandeis on Friday, September 2nd.
The Emmanuel women's volleyball team comes off an 8-4 record in the GNAC and an 18-14 overall mark. Fifth-year head coach Denitra Seals welcomes back seven returning players from last year's roster.
The Saints will be led by seniors Kat Olsen, Jenna Ross, and Becca Stanton. Olsen was a Third Team All-Conference selection in 2010, ranking first in the GNAC with 7.69 assists per set. Stanton, a Second Team All-Conference selection, led the Saints with 108 total blocks as a middle hitter. Ross led the team in kills with 290 from the outside hitter position. Junior libero, Yun-Ting Lee, will anchor the Saints defensively after ranking first on the team and in the GNAC with 545 digs in 2010.
The Saints open the season away against Mount Saint Mary College on Friday, September 2nd.
In 2010 the Cadets finished 20-11 overall and 7-5 in the GNAC. The core returnees are made up of senior middle hitters Ivana Batur and April Byllaardt. Batur was a Third Team All-Conference selection, leading the team with 80 digs and a .263 attack percentage. Byllaardt recorded a team-high 58 service aces along with 65 blocks. Senior outside hitter Brittany Palmer returns, hoping to build on her 105 kills and 220 digs. Jennette Chartrand will be the leader in the back row for the Cadets, producing 56 digs in 25 matches last season.
Norwich will open their season at home vs. Johnson State on Thursday, September 1st.
#6 Mt. Ida
Mt. Ida women's volleyball team finished with a 21-9 overall record and an 8-4 mark in the GNAC in 2010. The Mustangs reached the quarterfinals of the GNAC Championship, losing to Emmanuel 3-0. The team then went on to its first ever Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) postseason tournament, earning a 5thseed, but losing in the first round to 4th-seeded Colby-Sawyer College.
The Mustangs return seniors Cody Fusco and Rachelle Gilbert. Fusco was the team's MVP in 2010 and was second on the team with 399 assists, good for 3.84 per set. Junior offensive specialist, Jennifer Ferreira, was 3rd on the team with a .935 serve percentage.
Mt. Ida will open their season on Thursday, September 1st at home versus Clark University.
The Lasell Lasers women's volleyball team finished the 2010 season with a 6-6 record in the GNAC and a 12-18 overall record. Head Coach Mary Tom, entering her 15th season at the helm, recorded her 200th career victory during the 2010 campaign.
Senior middle hitter Danielle Drapeau looks to lead the Lasers during the 2011 season. The Second Team All-Conference selection averaged 2.8 kills per set, good for 4th in the GNAC, and accumulated 311 kills, 89 blocks, and 102 digs. Senior setter Meghan Crozier led the team with 7.38 assists per game, 2nd in the GNAC, to go along with 44 service aces and 237 digs. Along with Drapeau and Crozier, Eileen Barrett will captain the squad and sophomore Sara Biondo will look to contribute after a strong rookie season.
The Lasers open their season away against Centre on Friday, September 2nd.
#8 St. Joe's (ME)
The Monks of St. Joe's (ME) finished the 2010 women's volleyball season with a 17-14 overall record and a 5-7 record in the GNAC. St. Joe's received their first berth in the GNAC Tournament in 2010 as a #8 seed, losing in the first round to eventual champion JWU.
Returning for the Monks will be Third Team All-Conference pick Sarah Hawkes. The junior middle blocker led the team in kills (209), total attacks (613), attack percentage (.202), and total blocks (63). Also returning for the Monks is junior Kiah Begley who led the team with 6.57 assists per set and 56 aces.
St. Joe's (ME) opens their season at home versus Wentworth on Friday, September 9th.