WASHINGTON – The Gallaudet University women's volleyball program has dominated the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) for the past four years since it joined the conference in 2010. The Bison volleyball team holds high standards, battling tough non-conference foes as well as claiming the NEAC title four years straight. High standards the Bison hope to continue this year.
The 2014 season finds six returning players and head coach Lynn Ray Boren back for his 10th season at Gallaudet. The Bison team will miss all-conference honoree Lane Peters but the addition of six new players will help fill the void left by Peters and others from last season.
"I expect a good season with positive energy," said Boren. "[The first-year players] have inspired us. They have come to our camps in the past and now they are representing Gallaudet."
Here is a breakdown of the 2014 Bison women's volleyball team.
Senior Kali Frowick (Norfolk, Neb.) is a three-time All-NEAC first team outside hitter. Frowick led the team in double-doubles (25), kills (514), digs (678) and scoring with 551.5 points.
"Kali is very athletic and does what she needs to do. That is what we expect from her; she does her job and she has a lot of goals. This is her second year as team captain and she has the experience to handle her teammates and bring them together," said Boren.
Returning to the team as team co-captains alongside Frowick are senior middle hitter Julia Wolff (Belleville, Ontario) and junior setter TraciAnn Hoglind (Fishers, Ind.). Wolff started in 35 matches last season and was third on the team in points (207.5). Hoglind led the team in service aces (85) and earned All-NEAC second team honors in her sophomore season.
"She [TraciAnn] is a smart leader and is very committed to the volleyball program," said Boren.
The offense will also be manned by outside hitters; junior Molly Perkins (Apple Valley, Minn.), who started 35 matches last season, transfer student Danielle Morris (St. Louis, Mich.) and sophomore middle hitter Giuletta Maucere (Frederick, Md.). Freshmen outside hitters Jade DeLao (Washington, D.C.), Darriyan Thomas (Vallejo, Calif.) and Kylene Etkie (Austin, Texas) add depth to the front line.
The buff and blue know they need to work on blocking this year and intend to do just that. Maucere stepped up into her position as middle hitter as a freshman, last year, leading the team in blocks (81) with 16 solo and 65 assists. Wolff finished a close second on the team in blocks (76) with 27 solo and 49 assists.
Junior Kate Fetzer (Noblesville, Ind.) returns at libero for a second consecutive year. As a sophomore, Fetzer played in all 37 matches and lead the team in digs (678).
The Bison kick-off their season with the Battlefield Classic in Gettysburg, Pa. (Aug. 29–30). They then return home to play an alumni scrimmage in the Field House on Sept. 5 before returning to the road to face Marymount (Va.) University (Sept. 10) and participate in the Bridgewater (Va.) Invitational (Sept. 12-13).
The first official home match is Sept. 18 when the Bison host Stevenson University. Prior to the match the team will be recognizing for the 8th straight year receiving the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award.
Gallaudet heads out for the next five matches; highlighted by the NEAC Crossover hosted by Wells College in Aurora, N.Y. on Sept. 20-21. GU will face the host Express, Bryn Athyn College, Morrisville State College and SUNYIT. Gallaudet will finish its road stint with a non-conference game against the University of Mary Washington then head home to host the Worthington Classic (Sept. 26-27).
The month of October starts with the Bison on the road against Hood College in Frederick, Md., before heading to Abington, Pa., for four conference matches. The Bison return home to host the College of Wooster (Oct. 8) and Lancaster Bible College (Oct. 13) for the AVCA Dig Pink Night. The next three conference games are in Reading, Pa., where the Bison face conference rival Keuka College. October rounds out with GU hosting St. Mary's (Md.) College (Oct. 24) and Catholic University of America (Oct. 29).
The last two games of the regular season are non-conference home matches on Nov. 1 against Lebanon Valley College and the University of Scranton. The NEAC tournament will begin on Nov. 4 ending with the championship on Nov. 9.
The Bison are beginning a new year with a championship streak to uphold and high expectations on and off the court.
"Our goal is to keep dominating in the conference," said Boren. "Every year we say it is important to have an amazing group of women who put school first and volleyball second. We emphasize that. My student-athletes are focused on school. Gallaudet comes first!"
2014 Gallaudet University Women's Volleyball