CHESTERTOWN, Md. – In 2013, the Washington College volleyball team achieved its most successful season since 1977 by recording a 19-9 record and had its best campaign in the Centennial Conference since 1993 (6-4) by going 5-5 in conference contests. This season, the team seeks to build on these achievements by reaching the Centennial Conference Tournament for the first time in program history under second-year head coach Jamie Leventry.
The outside hitter position should be strong again for the Shorewomen in 2014. Junior Kristin Lee (Dayton, Md./River Hill), who was named to the all-conference second team for the second straight season in 2013, led the team in kills (344), kills per set (3.55), points (403), points per set (4.15) and service aces (44), while finish second on the squad in digs (334). Lee tallied 15 double-doubles a season ago, including six straight from October 12-26. Lee, the team's Most Valuable Player from 2013 was fourth in the Centennial in kills per set and fifth in aces per set and points per set.
Joining Lee as outside hitters are sophomores Rachel Baker (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West), Caitlin Cooney (Montgomery Village, Md./Covenant Life School) and Alexis Jordan (Royal Palm Beach, Fla./Seminole Ridge) along with freshmen Emily Houck (Plymouth Meeting, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh) and Hannah Spohn (Port Orchard, Wash./South Kitsap).
In 2013, Cooney was second on the team in kills (240) and kills per set (2.55) to go with four matches of 16 or more kills. Jordan, who also played some setter in 2013, had 114 kills, 94 assists, 146 digs and 24 blocks before going down to injury in early October. She is primarily a right-side hitter and gives Leventry versatility. Baker, who can also play in the back as a defensive specialist finished second on the team in service aces with 38 and placed third on the Shorewomen in digs with 296. Houck will primarily be a right-side attacker.
At middle hitter, Jess Daunoras (Shamong, N.J./Seneca) returns for her junior season and has recorded two solid seasons for WC. She was tops on the team in blocks (92), solo blocks (33) and assisted blocks (59), attack percentage (.290) second on the team in points (277.5) and third in kills (180). She notched her first career double-double in a win over Hood last season.
Joining Daunoras in the middle will be senior Sarah Beresik (Point Pleasant, N.J./Point Pleasant Beach) and freshman Alaina Geissberger (Lake Villa, Ill./Grayslake North). Beresik was second on the team in blocks (42) and blocks per set (0.43) to go along with fifth on the team in kills with 66 in 2013.
The setter position will be a three-way competition to replace the recently graduated Lauren White, who concluded her career with 2,708 assists, second most in program history. The three competing to fill the role are freshmen Sarah Bentley (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown), Emma Craig (Westminster, Md./Notre Dame Prep) and Taylor Horan (San Diego, Calif./Point Loma).
The defensive specialist position will be led by sophomore Audrey Utchen (San Ramon, Calif./Monte Vista). Utchen had a team-best 3.73 digs per set and 362 digs in her first campaign with the squad. She also handed out 140 assists and served up 31 aces. She even had two blocks, one solo and one assisted. Others who will see time in the back are Baker, Craig and freshman Amy Rohn (Paoli, Pa./Conestoga).
On the sidelines, Leventry will be joined by third-year assistant coach Jen Potts, who was a member of Shorewomen Volleyball for four seasons from 2008-11. The Shorewomen will begin the 2014 season against Messiah at Gettysburg's Battlefield Classic at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, August 29th. Later that day at 7:00 p.m., Washington will take on Penn State-Altoona at the classic. The Shorewomen open their home and Centennial slate on September 24th versus reigning three-time conference champion Johns Hopkins at 7:00 p.m.
In addition to Messiah and Penn State-Altoona, the Shorewomen will play Eastern (a 2013 NCAA Division III National Quarterfinalist), Salve Regina, Rosemont, Waynesburg, Rochester, Rowan, Marymount, Lycoming, Kean, Goucher home and away, Catholic, Delaware Valley and Lancaster Bible.
In conference play the Shorewomen will host Johns Hopkins, Swarthmore, Muhlenberg, Franklin & Marshall and Haverford, while traveling to Bryn Mawr, Gettysburg, Dickinson, Ursinus and McDaniel. WC will play eight home matches, 10 away contests and 10 tilts at neutral sites in 2014.