2014 Volleyball Season Preview
EASTON, Pa. - Lafayette's 2014 women's volleyball season gets underway this weekend at the Hofstra Invitational with four matches. Head Coach Terri Dadio Campbell leads the Leopards in her 13th season on College Hill.
The Leopards have improved from the previous season in the past two campaigns and are looking to do the same this year. They return five starters and 11 letterwinners from a team that posted an 11-16 record in 2013.
"We have a great core of returners at each position that gives us stability going into the season," Dadio Campbell said, "We are looking for our freshmen to make solid contributions this fall."
Lafayette will be led by a trio of captains in seniors Katy Rooney and Michelle Woodworth, and junior Lauren Pisauro. Woodworth will serve as a student-assistant coach this season due to medical reasons.
"The leadership from our three captains has been a key to our success in preseason and will continue to be a key during the regular season," Dadio Campbell said. "Their blend of leadership has helped our underclassmen transition into the college game."
Below is a position-by-position look at the 2014 Lafayette volleyball team.
Lafayette brings back a wealth of experience at middle blocker with a pair of seniors, Rooney and Danielle Towslee. Rooney finished last season with 138 kills and a team-high 71 blocks, while Towslee had 113 kills and 52 blocks.
Katherine Stevens will also be in the mix at middle blocker. The sophomore saw time in six matches last season and contributed six kills and two blocks. Classmate Kelly Flynn will also see time in the middle after posting 26 kills a season ago. Another sophomore, Maggie Evans, is also vying for time at middle blocker.
Sophomore Jet Manzi will start the season at outside hitter. The Morganville, N.J. native recorded 138 kills in her rookie campaign. Junior Brianne Giangiobbe will work her way back into the lineup after an offseason shoulder surgery. Giangiobbe is the returning kills leader from last campaign where she finished with 223 kills.
Towslee and Stevens will battle for time on the right side. Both will see time there and at middle blocker this season. Giangiobbe will add depth to the right side as she returns to full action from her shoulder surgery.
Evans and freshman Tori Smith look to break into the lineup on the right side.
Sophomore Samantha Volk led the Leopards with 645 assists last season. She suffered an injury in preseason, but is expected to return later this year.
Freshman Madeleine Titus was also injured in preseason, but it doesn't appear to be season-ending. Rookies Smith and Kidder will see time early in the season as setters.
Pisauro will be Lafayette's primary libero this season after leading the Patriot League with 4.82 digs per set in 2013. Senior Melanie Weiss will be the Leopards' next defensive specialist and will see time on the backline. Moult will break into the lineup with Kidder also in the mix.
The Leopards will open the season on the road with a pair of tournaments at Hofstra and Seattle University. Lafayette will also host the annual Crosstown Tournament on Sept. 12 and 13.
Patriot League play begins Sept. 17 against archrival Lehigh on College Hill. The Patriot League Tournament is scheduled for Nov. 22 and 23.