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New Faces, New Strategies for Women’s Volleyball in 2011

by Nolan Silbernagel
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Youthful Volleyball Team Weathers Storm to Start Season

Hurricane Irene didn’t only effect the Freshman Orientation at Fordham; it also played a large role for the Rams’ Volleyball program.

While students from across the nation were struggling to get to the Bronx, Head Coach Pete Volkert was struggling to get games in for his team.

“The hurricane actually washed out 2 of our first 3 games of the season”, Volkert said. “We were expecting to come out of the opening tournament 3-0, but we were only 1-0. That makes a huge difference in our record and our overall confidence”.

Despite his team having a 3-8 record, Volkert maintains a positive and optimistic view, not only for this season, but for future ones as well. Last year’s graduations dealt the Rams a crushing blow, robbing them of 6 seniors, 5 of whom were starters. Headlining the Class of 2010 were Kailee May, Katie Wells, and Christi Griffiths who were All-Conference Players and rank 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively on Fordham’s All-Time Kills List.

“We are a very young team. Fifteen of the eighteen girls are first or second year players. The shoes we are asking these girls to fill are huge and it won’t happen overnight”, said Volkert.

This year’s team consists of only three seniors and one junior and is led by captains Meg Arend and Brittany Daulton. Sophomores Chelsea Moore, Lisa Hipp, and Krissy Buongiorno missed numerous games last year due to injuries and red-shirted the season. Coach Volkert has taken this opportunity of having a young and relatively inexperienced team by implementing a 6-2 offense instead of his traditional 5-1 setup, while making modifications on the defensive side of the net as well.

“I figured this would be a good year to start making changes in the way we play because our team is so young and can adjust to the new system easily. We’re a very talented team and sometimes having a losing record can be tough. But the girls are fantastic and they have handled everything extremely well”.

Just as New York weathered Irene, the Women’s Volleyball team will outlast the growing pains that accompany any young squad.

Players to Look Out For:

Freshman starter Rose Diaz-Vazquez was named to the All-Tournament Team in this year’s Rose Hill Classic…Right Hitter Mary Diamantidis was injured during the pre-season and her return to the court should only benefit the Rams. The sophomore was named to last year’s Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team.

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