WASHINGTON – High expectations have always been part of the Gallaudet University women's volleyball program and this year's Bison squad enters the 2015 season ready to defend their North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) championship.
The Bison are coming off a 22-14 season and will try and win an unprecedented sixth straight NEAC title this fall.
Gallaudet lost two All-NEAC first team players but return a strong senior nucleus led by captain TraciAnn Hoglind (Fishers, Ind.). Hoglind and fellow senior Molly Perkins (Apple Valley, Minn.) were all-conference second team players last year. Senior middle hitter Danielle Morris (St. Louis, Mo.) blossomed in her first season in buff and blue, last year, highlighted with being named NEAC Tournament MVP. Sophomore Darriyan Thomas (Vallejo, Calif.) moves to outside hitter and should make an immediate impact. Hitting and its service game will continue to be Gallaudet's strong suit in 2015 while they will need to shore up its defense.
NEAC Record: 11-1
Highlight: NEAC Champions, NCAA tournament for fifth straight year
Awards: Four All-NEAC selections, NEAC Player of the Year, AVCA All-American Honorable Mention
TraciAnn Hoglind (Fishers, Ind.), Sr., Setter
Hoglind led the NEAC in assists (1,255) and was ranked No. 16 in Division III for assists and 21st in assists per set (10.37). The two-time All-NEAC performer returns for her fourth year, third-year as starting setter, and will set the tone on the court for the buff and blue.
Molly Perkins (Apple Valley, Minn.), Sr., Outside Hitter
Perkins made her first appearance on a NEAC all-conference team last season and finished the year with 286 kills and 42 service aces in 36 matches. Perkins will need to step up at the outside hitter position, a void left by four-time All-NEAC honoree Kali Frowick.
Danielle Morris (St. Louis, Mo.), Sr., Middle Hitter/Opposite
Morris shifts over from outside hitter to middle hitter/opposite this year after her debut with the Bison last year where she tallied 260 kills, 43 service aces, 301 digs and 49 blocks (40 block assists). Morris along with junior Giuletta Maucere (Fishers, Ind.), who has recovered from injury, will lead the GU front line in blocks.
Kali Frowick, Outside Hitter
Frowick closed out her Bison career with a phenomenal senior year where she was named NEAC Player of the Year and went on to be named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America honorable mention list. She ended the season with a team-high 392 kills (.279 hitting percentage), as well as 323 digs and career-high 37 blocks (eight solo) in 32 matches played. Her impressive four-year stat sheet includes 1,750 kills, 1,590 digs, 128 blocks (40 solo) and 119 service aces in 143 matches as a Bison.
Julia Wolff, Middle Hitter
Wolff joined Frowick on the 2014 All-NEAC first team. She had a breakout senior season and finished ranked fourth in NCAA Division III for hitting percentage (.393). The senior co-captain was first in the NEAC for hitting percentage and second in block assists (59) and third in blocks (81).
Tessa Lewis (Frederick, Md.), Fr., Outside Hitter/Opposite
The 5-foot-9 has great jumping ability and should be a threat for the Bison knocking down kills on the edge. She can play as an outside hitter or opposite and should see a lot of playing time.
Raelyn Fuechtmann (South St. Paul, Minn.), Fr., Utility
Fuechtmann is a 5-foot-5 defense specialist that should help sure up Gallaudet's backline and help against opponent's service game. She brings high energy and is able to get everyone involved.
"We have new goals for this season. Our senior class has high hopes as well. It is not going to be easy to win the conference title for a sixth straight year. We need to work hard and come together as a team. Our four seniors need to be leaders if we want to try and win No. 6." – Lynn Ray Boren, Gallaudet University women's volleyball head coach
- Season opener: Battlefield Classic at Gettysburg, Pa. Sept. 4
- Home opener: vs. Marymount University Wed., Sept. 16
- Conference Opener: at Bryn Athyn College Fri., Sept. 25
- 2014 Conference Runner-up: Wells College Sat., Oct. 3
- Worthington Classic: Eight-team tournament Oct. 9 and 10
- Homecoming/Senior Day/NEAC weekend: Four-team crossover tournament Oct. 23 and 24
- NEAC Tournament: Nov. 3, 7-8
BISON HOME MATCHES
Sept. 16 vs. Marymount, 7 p.m. (AVCA Academic Night)
Sept. 22 vs. Mary Washington, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 vs. Notre Dame (Md.), 7 p.m. (Dig Pink)
Oct. 9-10 Worthington Classic
Oct. 20 vs. Christopher Newport, 7 p.m.
Oct. 23 vs. SUNY Poly, 8 p.m. (Homecoming)
Oct. 24 vs. Morrisville St., 10 a.m. & vs. SUNY Cobleskill, Noon (Senior Day)