WASHINGTON – The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) women's volleyball championship continues to go through Gallaudet University. The Bison are the seven-time defending conference champions and will enter the 2017 season as the conference favorite to win an eighth. The bullseye is on the Bison as they will get every team's best shot this season.This is the pressure Gallaudet relishes and the respect this historic program has earned over decades of success.
"It's easy to say seven straight championships and we are the defending champs but I don't want to worry about that," said Gallaudet women's volleyball head coach Lynn Ray Boren. "Our goal is to play one game at a time. In the back of our minds we want to win the championship but we don't worry about that."
GU will continue to be tested out of conference with another strong schedule. The Bison will play in two tournaments to begin the season in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts before returning home and getting into conference play and the annual Worthington Classic. Gallaudet will figure out where it stands for another championship later in October with more NEAC matches. The Bison hope their season continues into November, a tradition they have come accustomed to.
Here is a breakdown of the 2017 Gallaudet women's volleyball team.
NEAC Record: 11-2
Highlight: NEAC Champions, NCAA tournament for seventh straight year
Awards: Four All-NEAC selections, NEAC Player and Rookie of the Year, one AVCA All-America Honorable Mention
Darriyan Thomas (Vallejo, Calif.), Sr., Outside Hitter
Thomas was the 2016 NEAC Women's Volleyball Player of the Year. She was later named an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America honorable mention selection. She led the Bison with 462 kills, 403 digs, 75 service aces and 22 blocks for 551 points. Thomas is poised for a big senior season.
Adele Daniels (Austin, Texas), So., Outside Hitter
Daniels was named the 2016 NEAC Rookie of the Year and landed on the all-conference first team alongside Thomas. Daniels was second on the team with 441 kills, 286 digs, 45 blocks and 41 service aces.
Jasmine Jeter (Noblesville, Ind.), Sr., Setter
Jeter was named to the 2016 All-NEAC Second Team as she passed out 1,191 assists. She is patient and ready for her senior season.
Raelyn Fuechtmann (South St. Paul, Minn.), Jr., Libero
Fuechtmann played in 32 matches last season where she made 358 digs and 32 service aces.
Giuletta Maucere (Valley Village, Calif.), Sr., Middle Hitter
Maucere returns to the Bison after only playing in 16 matches last season. She enters the season with 399 career kills and 158 blocks.
Camryn Skari, Middle Hitter
Skari was Gallaudet's top blocker in her debut season as she tallied 71 blocks (20 solo). She was named to the 2016 All-NEAC Third Team as she added 215 kills, 102 digs and 35 service aces.
Karita Lewis (Frederick, Md.), Fr., Outside Hitter/Opposite
Lewis was named the 2016 National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association (NDIAA) Girls Volleyball Player of the Year last season. She recorded 572 kills, 259 digs and 110 service aces during her senior season at Maryland School for the Deaf.
"We return a lot of good numbers from last year's championship team. There was a different level of energy in this fall preseason camp. I expect this team to have another great season this year." Lynn Ray Boren, Gallaudet University women's volleyball head coach
- Season opener: Battlefield Classic at Gettysburg, Pa. (Fri., Sept. 1)
- Home opener: vs. McDaniel (Tue., Sept. 12)
- Conference opener: at Wilson (Thu., Sept. 14)
- Worthington Classic: Eight-team tournament (Sept. 29-30)
- NEAC weekend: Four-team cross over tournament (Oct. 13-14)
- Homecoming/Senior Night: vs. Scranton & Lebanon Valley (Fri., Oct. 20)
- Senior Night: vs. Lancaster Bible (Thu., Oct. 26)
- NEAC Tournament: Oct. 31, Nov. 4-5
BISON HOME MATCHES
Sept. 12 vs. McDaniel, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 vs. Marymount, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 vs. Stevenson, 7 p.m.
Sept. 29-30 – Worthington Classic
Oct. 11 vs. Catholic, 7 p.m.
Oct. 13 vs. Penn St.-Abington, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 vs. SUNY Poly, 11 a.m. & SUNY Cobleskill, 3 p.m.
Oct. 18 vs. Mary Washington, 7 p.m.
Oct. 20 vs. Scranton, 2 p.m. & Lebanon Valley, 6 p.m. (Senior Night)
Oct. 26 vs. Lancaster Bible, 7 p.m.