Volleyball looks to continue winning records
|Attacker Jasmine McDavid was second on the team in kills and third in blocks last season.|
The 2004 season featured yet another successful campaign for the Bates College volleyball program. Under first-year head coach Brett Allen the Bobcats (16-13) posted their seventh straight winning season, ending the year with a quarterfinal loss to Amherst in the New England Small College Athletic Conference tournament.
Bates begins practice Aug 31 and opens its season at the Williams College Invitational, vs. Rhode Island College, on Sept 9. at 6 p.m.
Although First-Team NESCAC outside hitter Olivia Zurek, starting middle back Elizabeth Blakeley, and four-year team member Stephanie Shokal have graduated, the squad returns four starters and seven letterwinners.
Headlining the returnees is senior right-side attacker and tri-captain Jasmine McDavid (Brooklyn, N.Y./Choate Rosemary). In 2004 McDavid was second on the team with 270 kills and third with 72 total blocks. A dominating defensive presence at the net, she is Bates’ most experienced front-row player and has a knack for the big play.
“Jasmine can change the tempo of a match with either a big kill or block at the right time,” said Allen. “In volleyball, where momentum is so important, it’s nice to have a player with that ability.”
Also competing for playing time at the right side will be sophomore Jenn Linton (Redding, Conn./Loomis Chaffee) and newcomers Katherine Dexter (Seattle, Wash./University Prep) and Rachel Salloway (Barrington, R.I./Barrington H.S.).
|Tri-captain Liz Santy will have a positive impact this season.|
In 2004 Liz Santy(Farmington, Conn./Farmington H.S.) moved to outside hitter and developed into a viable and ready option. Allen expects a breakout year for the senior tri-captain.
“With Olivia as an outside last year, Liz worked hard to become a very good defender,” he said. “This year, we’ll need her to be a little more of a ‘do-everything’ outside, and I expect her work ethic will help her to become even better in that capacity.”
Also competing for playing time at outside will be Linton, sophomore Matia Kostakis(Andover, Mass./Andover H.S.) and first-years Laura Will(Milton, Mass./Milton Academy) and Dexter.
In the middle, the Bobcats will likely feature Kostakis, who did not play in 2004, and first-year Beth Billington(St. Paul, Minn./St. Paul Academy). Only Blakeley had previous middle experience in 2004, and although this year’s middle players are untested, Allen looks forward the greater potential depth at the position.
Starting 2004 setter Katie Graeff(Chevy Chase, Md./Maret School) returns as a junior after finishing third in NESCAC with 10.41 assists per game and recording 1,048 overall. Also returning at setter is sophomore Becca Kunzendorf(Newton, Mass./Newton H.S.), who saw limited action as backup in 2004. Joining the squad are sophomore Brittany Clement(Gobles, Mich./Gobles H.S.) and first-year Stephanie Connors(Worcester, Mass./Bancroft H.S.).
“I’m glad to have two setters familiar with the offense. Katie did a nice job adjusting and established her role as our setter fairly early on last season, and Becca was certainly a capable backup,” Allen said. “Now adding Brittany and Steph should increase the level of practice competition.”
Junior tri-captain Lauren Gold(Sacramento, Calif./Hotchkiss) returns on the back row as does junior Erin Johnson(Naples, Fla./Naples H.S.). Gold was second on the team in digs (366) and service aces (51) in 2004 while playing libero. Johnson played in 95 of 111 games, recording 148 digs and 28 service aces.
“Lauren and Erin both did a good job last fall. Lauren is always looking for ways to improve and, if Erin can remain healthy, she will continue to be an asset in the back row,” said Allen.
|The 2004 team finished the season at 16-13 under first-year Head Coach Brett Allen.|
The College’s winningest program, volleyball has achieved an overall record of 801-312-1 for a winning percentage of .724 in its 38-year history. The Bobcats have captured the NESCAC title four times, advanced to the NCAA tournament twice, and won the ECAC Championship four times.