Volleyball Squad Announces Class of 2014
July 12, 2010
EASTON, Pa. - Lafayette head volleyball coach Terri Dadio Campbell has announced five student-athletes will join her team this fall as the Class of 2014.
"We are excited to add these five young women to our volleyball program," Campbell said. "They each bring with them a strong volleyball background, a great enthusiasm for the game, and a sincere desire to excel in the classroom."
The first freshman, Molly Belcher (Columbus, Ohio/Columbus Academy) is a 5-10 setter and right side hitter. She was team captain and MVP at Columbus Academy where she was also an All-League First-Team selection. Belcher also earned first team all-district and all-league honors three seasons in a row and her squad won the district championship her freshman season. She played club volleyball with Mintonette Sports Club.
Belcher was a three-sport athlete and earned MVP honors in basketball and lacrosse and earned All-League First-Team status in those sports, as well. She also served as captain in both sports and earned four varsity letters in each and was a First-Team All-Ohio selection as well as an academic all-American in lacrosse.
As a senior, Belcher was awarded the Plessinger Cup as the female athlete who made the greatest contribution to Columbus Academy's athletic program. She also earned the Rose Prize for being the school's top Chinese student.
Belcher on why she wanted to attend Lafayette: "As soon as I set foot on Lafayette's campus, I had the feeling that it was the college for me. Immediately, I felt welcomed by everyone. The team and coaching staff were so inviting and made me feel like I could fit right in and I am so excited to have the opportunity to play volleyball at the Division I level. Another thing I love about Lafayette is that it not only offers such a high level of athletic competition, but it also offers an even higher level of academics. The final selling point for me was Lafayette's proximity to Philadelphia, which is where I was born."
Karissa Ciliento (Mahwah, N.J./Mahwah), a 5-10 outside hitter, brings to Lafayette numerous academic and athletic accolades. On the volleyball court, she was a First-Team All-League and All-County player as a senior in addition to earning All-State Second-Team honors. She amassed 1,000 kills at Mahwah, a school record, and was named to Bergen County's All-Decade Honorable Mention list. Ciliento also earned All-County and All-State Group II honors as a junior and was ranked as the number one hitter in the NBIL Division. She played her club volleyball with Atlantic Valley and Cut Shot.
Ciliento also played basketball and competed on the track team, where she was a member of the 2009 Indoor and 2009 Spring Track Championship teams. She received All-League Honorable Mention following her senior track campaign.
Off the court, Ciliento was a three-time recipient of both the Principal's Award and the Athletes in Action Award. She was a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and the National Honor Society and earned the Silver Scholar Award in 2008 as a member of the Spanish Honor Society. She was a three-year member of Athletes in Action as well as the 2010 Class Treasurer and two-time class representative.
Ciliento on why she chose Lafayette: "From the first practice I ever watched, I knew I needed to be part of the Lafayette program. The Lafayette vs. Lehigh volleyball match and rivalry I witnessed showed me how intense and competitive the College is and reassured me this is where I belong. What is better than playing a Division I sport and getting an amazing education?"
Libero Mackenzie Larsen (Morrisville, N.C./Cary Academy) was a three-time TISAC All-Conference player who was named to the OASIS State 3A Team. She served as team captain her senior season and her squad was the runner-up in the NCISAA State Volleyball Final. Larsen also competed with the Carolina Region Youth National Team in 2008 and was selected for several regional all-tournament teams. In addition, Larsen was a member of the Club Red volleyball team.
In the classroom, Larsen was named the AP Biology Student of the Year and made the Head Master and Effort Honor Rolls throughout her high school career. She also served as Beta Club Secretary and was the co-editor of the school newspaper.
Larsen on why she chose Lafayette: "I chose Lafayette because I wanted to attend a strong liberal arts school and obviously Lafayette fit that really well. The opportunity to play Division I volleyball at Lafayette along with the opportunity to study abroad made my decision final."
Morgan Loeffler (Trinity, N.C./Trinity) is a 5-8 outside hitter and defensive specialist. She was a three-time all-conference volleyball selection and earned All-County honors her senior season. Loeffler played her club volleyball with Sportsplex.
A two-sport athlete at Trinity, she also earned all-conference honors in soccer.
Loeffler, the sister of current Lafayette men's basketball assistant coach Josh Loeffler, was named an Outstanding Senior and earned the Trinity Sportsmanship Award.
Loeffler on why she chose Lafayette: "I chose Lafayette because of its comforting campus and its challenging academics. I also love being back in my home state of Pennsylvania."
The final student-athlete joining the Leopards is 5-8, outside hitter Gina Morrone (Orefield, Pa./Parkland). Morrone, team captain her senior season, was a member of the 2008 LVIAC Championship squad. Parkland was also a District XI Finalist her sophomore and junior years and a semi-finalist during her senior campaign. She played her club volleyball with Synergy.
At Parkland, Morrone was a member of the French and National Honor Societies, as well as the French Club. She was an active member of the Parkland Morning News and the school earned the Shortie Award for "Best High School News Broadcast" her junior year. Morrone was also a High Honor Roll and Principal's List honoree throughout high school.
Morrone on why she chose to attend Lafayette: "I chose Lafayette because there is a perfect blend of athletics and academics and it is close enough to home that my family can come to games. The coaches, team and other students were so kind and welcoming; I couldn't imagine a better environment."
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