2012 Volleyball Season Preview
Aug. 23, 2012
EASTON, Pa.- The Lafayette volleyball team comes back to campus prepared to start the 2012 season where they left off in 2011. Winning two of their last three matches in 2011 under 11th-year head coach Terri Dadio-Campbell, the team believes it's ready to pick up where it left off.
"The team cohesiveness is better than I have ever seen it in my time at Lafayette," Dadio Campbell said. "We left in a strong place last year and everyone came back prepared and where we expected them to be."
The key to the 2012 season will be serving and passing for the Leopards. Dadio Campbell believes she has great servers that need to balance their aggressiveness with intelligence and keep errors to a minimum.
Dadio Campbell explained, "After the serve, the key to our offense will be how well our setters and hitters connect. We need to have a good balance between aggressive kills and placement kills to be successful."
Below is a position-by-position breakdown of the Leopards, who return 12 letterwinners from a 10-17 season in 2011.
Sophomore Danielle Towslee will take the reins in the middle, aiming to replace graduated Alana Taylor. Towslee was the only player on the team to start every game last season.
"Danielle has had exceptional numbers in her fitness and weight room testing in our preseason workouts," Dadio Campbell said. "She had a great freshman year serving and blocking for us and will be a key returner in the middle."
Sophomore Katy Rooney has been strong in the preseason and will be another key for the Leopards. She started 14 matches, playing in 22, and tallied 25 blocks and 50 kills.
Senior Alexandra Russo will also rotate in the middle in 2012.
Calling this the most competitive position, Dadio Campbell's group will be led by senior co-captain Katie Zoller. Zoller led the team in kills with 214 and was second on the team in digs with 168 last season.
Junior Karissa Ciliento and freshmen Brianne Giangiobbe and Sarah Moult will add depth to the position as well. Ciliento played in 17 games, starting 12, and tallied 90 kills.
Sophomore Camissa Beghou is a key at right side coming off a very productive freshmen season. Playing in all 27 games with 22 starts, Beghou was second on the team in kills with 212 and third on the team in blocks with 34. She also racked up a .228 hitting percentage.
Also competing for time will be sophomore Aidan Guilfoyle and freshmen Leslie Tintle.
Senior co-captain Sarah Frohnapfel and Molly Belcher will compete for the setter spot this season.
"Sarah and Molly have different strengths and weaknesses," Dadio Campbell said. "They will rotate based on what we need from them in a specific match."
Frohnapfel started 16 matches, playing in 20,and led the team in assists (484).
Belcher played in 19 matches, starting 11. She was second on the team in assists with 327.
Sophomore Michelle Woodworth will be the starting libero at left back anchoring the defense. Woodworth played in all 27 matches last season, starting seven. She was third on the team in digs with 155.
The competition for middle and right back will be between sophomore Melanie Weiss, freshman Lauren Pisauro and senior Fiorella Bellini. The most game experience comes from Weiss, who played in 25 games in 2011 with one start. Bellini played in 15 games for the Leopards last season.
The Leopards will open their 2012 campaign on Sunday, Aug.26 when they host Rider at 1 p.m. in the Kirby Sports Center. After 10 more non-conference match-ups, the Patriot League season will kick off in the home conference opener against Bucknell at 7 p.m. on Sept. 21.
Lafayette will face Lehigh at home on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. and then in Bethlehem at 7 p.m. on Oct. 26. The Patriot League Tournament is slated for Nov. 17-18.