Skyhawks aim to make a return to NE10 playoffs after two years
EASTON, Mass. (August 15, 2017) – The Stonehill College volleyball team was picked to finish ninth in the Northeast-10 Conference by the 15 coaches, the league announced Tuesday morning.
DeLanty registerd 61 total blocks last year
American International College, who was the NCAA East Regional champion last year, was selected as the preseason favorite with 185 points and eight of the 15 first-place votes. Defending NE10 champion, the University of New Haven (178) tallied four first-place tallies and was tabbed to finish second, while Le Moyne College (166), Adelphi University (160) who received the final three first-place points, and Pace University (139) rounded out the top five. Saint Anselm College (129) nudged out Bentley University (128) for a sixth-place finish, as Franklin Pierce University (98) beat out the Skyhawks (96), who are expected to end the season eighth and ninth, respectively.
Stonehill's 2016 campaign was wrapped up finishing ninth in the conference tallying a 12-13 overall record and a 7-7 NE10 mark just missing out on the playoffs for the second-straight year. The Skyhawks will be led by 10 returners, as head coach Kathleen Colpoys has added four newcomers to the squad for the fall.
"We have a great group of players this year and we are working hard every day to prepare for the season. Our conference is so competitive and every match is a battle," stated head coach Colpoys. "We are continuing to stay focused on our goals every day and plan to take the season one match at a time."
Senior Katherine DeLanty (Smithtown, New York/Smithtown West) led the 2016 squad in many categories including kills per set (2.97), hitting percentage (.276), and total blocks (61). With these numbers she finished ninth, fourth, and 21st in the NE10, respectively. Classmate Claire Manuszak (Indianapolis, Indiana/Bishop Chatard) also found herself on the NE10 rankings, as she was listed 12th in digs per set averaging 4.06. She also notched her 1,000-career dig last season, bringing her to a career total of 1,132 heading into her final year.
Nasby was second on the team in kills per set and third in blocks last season
Seniors Marykay Nasby (Belle Plain, Minnesota/Belle Plain) and Ashley Hitchcock (Warrenville, Illinois/Benet Academy) also return in the Purple and White. Nasby wrapped up the season second on the team in kills per set (2.72) and third in total blocks (31). Hitchcock averaged a career-best in kills per set last season (2.02) and digs per set (2.90). Sophomore Rachel Dunlavy (Brighton, Michigan/Father Gabriel Richard) made a significant impact in the back row last season averaging 0.23 service aces per set, ranking her fourth on the team and averaging 2.66 digs per set, good for third with the Skyhawks.
Stonehill opens its 2017 campaign hosting the Skyhawk Invitational at the Merkert Gymnasium from Saturday, September 2 to Sunday, September 3. The tournament begins for the Skyhawks with a match against Shepherd University at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and competition continues on Sunday against Dominican (N.Y.) College at 10:00 am and Bloomfield College at 5:30 p.m. The Skyhawks then travel to Indianapolis, Indiana to compete in the UIndy Invitational from Friday, September 8 to 9.
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1. American International College – 185 (8)
2. University of New Haven – 178 (4)
3. Le Moyne College – 166
4. Adelphi University – 160 (3)
5. Pace University – 139
6. Saint Anselm College – 129
7. Bentley University – 128
8. Franklin Pierce University – 98
9. Stonehill College – 96
10. Southern New Hampshire University - 72
11. Southern Connecticut State University – 65
12. College of Saint Rose – 65
13. Merrimack College – 42
14. Assumption College – 41
15. Saint Michael's College - 20
(#) – indicates first-place votes