Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Thursday, August 31, 2006
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2 Cross Country Preview

SEASON PREVIEW

DEPTH, CHEMISTRY ARE KEYS TO VOLLEYBALL’S PLAYOFF HOPES

The Muhlenberg volleyball team feels it has what it takes this year to break through into the postseason. The Mules haven’t made the Centennial Conference tournament since 2001.

MUHLENBERG VOLLEYBALL

First matches: Friday, Sept. 1, at Moravian’s Greyhound Premiere Invitational

Senior middle hitter Kate Haggerty thinks the 2006 Mules, who open the season down the road at Moravian’s Greyhound Premiere Invitational this weekend, hold the key to postseason play.

“This season, we have the most depth since I have been here,” Haggerty explained. “We are strong at all positions and there is a lot of potential on the floor.”

Last season’s team boasted the career leader in kills, the top two on the all-time digs list and the second-best setter in school history. The dynamic of the team changed with the graduation of those three key players, and the ’06 squad thinks that with better team chemistry, multiple players can step into their roles on the court.

Despite those losses, Muhlenberg returns five seniors, three in the middle hitting ranks where the system centers on the quick attack. Haggerty and Monica Sella, whose leadership skills led them to be named co-captains, both bring knowledge and experience to the court. Haggerty, who features top-10 career numbers in kills and service aces while standing 11th on the all-time blocks list, exudes confidence on the floor and uses her quickness to explode into attack mode. Her 227 kills is tops among returning Mules while her .222 hitting percentage led all players in 2005. Sella, who tied for the team lead with 44 blocks last year, ranks seventh on the blocks chart and is expected to move into a stronger role this season.

Senior Julia Lamborn, the most versatile player on the floor, will compete for a starting spot in the middle while possibly seeing some time on the outside. Sophomore Ally Ivaniski will also provide depth to the position.

The outside hitters might be the deepest position on the team, led by senior right side Courtney Williams. With the majority of the CC foes being left-side dominant, Williams, who ranks 12th on the school’s career blocks list, uses her defense to shut down the opposition's best player. She recorded 44 blocks while pounding out 118 kills as a junior.

Junior Jess Anselmi, who brings knowledge to the team after starting last season, has offensive potential due to her tremendous jumping ability. After missing last season due to an illness, sophomore Danielle Losonci brings excellent ball control to the table. Numerous freshman will also be in the mix, as head coach Jenny Warmack-Chipman brought in four outside hitters in a seven-player recruiting class.

The setters posses different styles, but will both see plenty of action, mostly at the same time, as the Mules shift into a two-setter offense this season. Though only a sophomore, Megan Eiser has gathered the team’s trust with her passing ability and quick feet while totaling 176 assists in a backup role last season. She ranked ninth in the conference with 0.51 service aces per game and was tied for third on the team with 192 digs as a freshman. Junior Tiffany Elliott brings a great deal of experience and mental toughness to the team from her floor general position.

Junior Megan Young, who will take over the libero position this season, is expected to shine as a back row defensive player after recording 192 digs in 2005. The hard-working senior Kristin Caparro will contribute on the back line as well, as she is one of the most dedicated players on the team.


Questions or comments? Send mail to falk@muhlenberg.edu
Last updated August 31, 2006