Volleyball Season Preview

Volleyball Season Preview

CHESTERTOWN, Md. – Since the start of the 2013 season, the Washington College volleyball program has won 84 matches, the most in any five-year span since winning 90 from 1990-94.  However, despite the overall record success the goal of reaching the Centennial Conference Tournament continues to escape the grasp of the Shorewomen.  Despite a 17-11 overall record in 2017, including a 14-4 mark out of conference, the team could not replicate its out of conference success in Centennial play.

This fall the Shorewomen seek to reach their first-ever Centennial Conference Tournament and notch their fifth winning season in six years under sixth-year head coach Jamie Leventry.

To reach the conference tournament, Washington must overcome the loss of 2018 graduates Alaina Geissberger, who led the conference in blocks per set each of the past two seasons, and Taylor Horan, who is second all-time in program history in assists with 3,295.

The senior class has a pair of outside hitters in in Kaitlyn Marino (Redding, Conn./Joel Barlow) and Lizzie Baden (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park)

Marino, a two-time All-Centennial Conference pick after earning honorable mention status in 2017, led the team in kills (188), kills per set (2.76) and points per set (3.5) despite missing eight matches due to injury.  She was second on the squad in hitting percentage (.152) and aces per set (0.46), fourth in blocks (0.56) per set and aces (31) and was fifth in digs per set (2.28) as she was named the Most Valuable Player on the squad for the second consecutive year.  In the conference, she ranked seventh in points per set and 10th in service aces per set (0.46).  A second team all-conference pick in 2016, she is one of four Shorewomen back for 2018 who had 100 or more kills last fall.

Baden was second on the Shorewomen in kills per set (2.16), tied for second on the team in kills (173), third in blocks (48), and fifth in blocks per set (0.49) last fall as the team was second in the Centennial in blocks per set last year (1.74).  She had a pair of 14-kill performances and hit .435 at Haverford last year where she had 13 kills on just 23 attack attempts.  Baden had five contests of 10 or more kills as she played in 27 matches in 2017.

The two juniors on Leventry's squad this year are outside hitter/defensive specialist Cassie Kowalski (Wilmington, Del./Delaware Military Academy) and defensive specialist Olivia Portera (Parkton, Md./Institute of Notre Dame)

Kowalski, who played in all 28 contests in 2017, was second on the team in aces per set (0.44), third on team in aces (39), digs (215) and assists (30), fourth in digs per set (2.42) and kills per set (1.58) and fifth with 141 kills.  She had 11 matches of double digit digs, including a career-high 21 versus Elizabethtown, and five contests of double figure kills.  Portera got into eight matches last year and tallied 21 digs and served up five aces, as the team was second in the Centennial in aces per set (2.53) and third in service aces (240).

The team will have seven sophomores for the 2018 edition of Shorewomen Volleyball.  The seven are right-side hitter Laura Cochrane (Southampton, Pa./William Tennant), defensive specialist/setter Abby Hilty (Annandale, N.J./North Hunterdon), middle hitter Kylie Peets (Salmon, Idaho/Salmon), outside hitter/middle hitter Maggie Pietrucha (Denville, N.J./Villa Walsh Academy), middle hitter Isabella Sansanelli (East Northport, N.Y./Elwood-John H. Glenn), outside hitter Abby Smith (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) and setter/right-side hitter Maria Summerville (Tampa, Fla./Brooks DeBartolo)

Smith finished second on the club in aces (40), fourth on the team in kills (148) and aces per set (0.43) and fifth in kills per set (1.57) as she played in all 28 matches last fall.  She had 10 matches of double figure digs and three double-doubles.   

Peets was second on the team in both blocks (52) and blocks per set (0.68) in 2017 and added 96 kills for a clip of 1.25 kills per set as she played in 27 matches.  Sansanelli in 16 matches last fall had 32 kills, averaged 1.10 kills per set, notched 19 blocks and had an average of 0.66 blocks per set.

Hilty, who played in 22 contests last year, had 73 digs, 18 assists and 17 aces.  Summerville had 26 assists in four matches last season, including 10 assists, all in one set, against Swarthmore.  Cochrane had 13 kills and hit .222 in five contests as she averaged 1.86 kills per set in her rookie year.  Pietrucha hit .286 in 11 matches in 2017.

The 11 returnees will be joined by six freshman this season.  The newcomers are middle hitter Jenna Daunoras (Shamong, N.J./Seneca), outside hitter/defensive specialist Brittney Guy (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck), setter Jensyn Hartzell (Nazareth Pa./Nazareth Area), libero Kahley Jaeke (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./Capistrano Valley Christian), defensive specialist Jenny Kabrick (Broadlands, Va./Briar Woods) and setter Lauren Zedlar (Burbank, Calif./John Burroughs).  Daunoras is the younger sister of Jess Daunoras '16, who played four years of volleyball for the Shorewomen from 2012-15.

Leventry is joined on the bench for the by assistant coach Aimee Petrides.  Petrides joins the program after serving as an assistant coach for the past two years at her alma mater, Frostburg State in western Maryland.  Petrides is a 2016 graduate of Frostburg State, played four years of volleyball for the Bobcats, was named the team's Most Valuable Player in 2014 and served as a team captain.

Schedule Breakdown
Total Matches: 26 (seven home, 11 away and eight neutral)
Season and Away Opener: August 31 versus Baruch at DeSales (5:00 p.m.)
Home Opener: September 18 versus St. Mary's (Md.) (7:00 p.m.)
Centennial Home Opener: September 19 versus Bryn Mawr (7:00 p.m.)
Centennial Away Opener: September 15 at Gettysburg (1:00 p.m.)
Centennial Home Opponents: Bryn Mawr, McDaniel (9/29), Dickinson (10/6), Haverford (10/10) and Muhlenberg (10/27)
Centennial Road Opponents: Gettysburg, Johns Hopkins (9/26), #21 Swarthmore (10/3), Franklin & Marshall (10/13), Ursinus (10/23)
Non-Conference Home Opponents: St. Mary's (Md.), Immaculata (10/16)
Non-Conference Road Opponents: DeSales (9/1), Salisbury (9/5), Marymount (9/7), Catholic (9/12), Stevenson (9/22), Alvernia (10/19)
Non-Conference Neutral Opponents: Baruch at DeSales, Colby-Sawyer at DeSales (8/31), Rutgers-Camden at DeSales (9/1), Wheaton (Ill.) at Marymount (9/7), Eastern and Randolph-Macon at Marymount (9/8), Lycoming at Stevenson (9/22), Clarkson at F&M (10/13)