2019 NEAC Women's Volleyball Preseason Preview

2019 NEAC Women's Volleyball Preseason Preview

LATHAM, N.Y. - Morrisville State will take the court this season in hopes of defending back-to-back North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) crowns, while 11 other women's volleyball teams will look to unseat the Mustangs during the 2019 season that begins Friday. The NEAC also welcomes Penn State Harrisburg back into the mix as the Lions will return to the league from the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC). Following the conclusion of the regular season, the top six teams will advance to the NEAC Tournament where the conference champion will receive an automatic berth to the 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Tournament.

Full Schedule

Cazenovia College
Head Coach: Rachel Burbidge, 2nd Season
2018-19 Record: 3-22 Overall, 2-9 NEAC
2018-19 Postseason: N/A
Key Returners: Grace Torino and Emma Horsch
Players to Watch: Sarah Heman and Sarah Lazor
Key Losses: None
Coach's Season Outlook: The season outlook looks very promising. With a deep and talented incoming class to go along with some very key returners this season looks to be more successful than last year. We are looking forward to a great 2019 season.

Gallaudet University
Head Coach: Lynn Ray Boren, 15th season
2018-19 Record:
17-17 Overall, 8-3 NEAC
2018-19 Postseason:
NEAC Tournament Semifinalist
Key Returners/Players to Watch:
Adele Daniels, Sr., Outside Hitter; Karita Lewis, Jr., Middle Hitter
Key Losses:
Shua Clay, Middle Hitter
Coach's Season Outlook:
Gallaudet returns three all-conference players from a year ago including two-time first-team honoree Adele Daniels, second-team honoree Karita Lewis along with third-team honoree Emma Giuntoli, who was also the Rookie of the Year. The Bison hope the additions of Cassidy Perry, Isabella Rodriguez, Leila Sicoli and Sunita Schmidjorg will make an impact in 2019 as the Bison eye a return to the top of the conference standings.

Keuka College
Head Coach: Quinn Wright, 1st season
2018-19 Record:
11-19 Overall, 7-4 NEAC
2018-19 Postseason:
Lost in NEAC Quarterfinals
Key Returners/Players to Watch:
Abby Anderson, Kelsie Allen, Camryn Marcus, Lauren Kuipers
Key Losses:
Alyssa Rex, Lauren Moelbert, Emily Cottrell
Coach's Season Outlook:
Head Coach Quinn Wright takes over a young team without a senior this season, but the Wolves return a group with experience. Added to the team is an incoming class that features players from five different states.

Lancaster Bible
Head Coach:
Micah Herron, 2nd Season
2018-19 Record:
21-9 Overall, 9-2 NEAC
2018-19 Postseason:
Defeated Wells, 3-2 in NEAC Semifinals, before losing to Morrisville State, 3-0 in NEAC Final; NEAC Runner-Up
Key Returners:
Seniors - Allison Shuey (S), Ashtyn Bouslog (OH), Courtney Goyak (MH); Junior - Aleah Heyworth (RS)
Players to Watch:
Juniors - Suzanna Whiting (DS), Bekah Roberts (MH); Sophomore - Maelynne Patey (OH)
Key Losses:
Hannah Thompson (DS), Hannah Gipe (RS), Jenny Mulvey (DS), Erin Harkey (OH)
Coach's Season Outlook:
Lancaster Bible advanced to the NEAC Final for the first time in program history a year ago, and despite a couple of losses, the Chargers have brought in players with good high school experience. The level of play should remain near last year's mark, with the hope of it rising even higher. Shuey (NEAC All-Conference 1st Team in 2018) returns for a final season, as does Goyak who had over 100 total blocks in her first collegiate volleyball season a year ago.

Morrisville State
Head Coach:
Fred Wallace, 8th season
2018-19 Record:
25-7 Overall, 11-0 NEAC
2018-19 Postseason:
NEAC Champions, NCAA First Round
Key Returners/Players to Watch:
Megyan Merrill - Outside Hitter; Sam Wolf - Libero; Kirsten Florio - Middle Hitter; Amelia Baratier - Outside Hitter
Key Losses:
Helena Hanes - Setter; Kim Dunkleman - Setter
Coach's Season Outlook:
We have a very talented incoming freshman setter who I believe will be able to pick up right where we left off. With the strength of our schedule in the very beginning we should have a very good idea of where our strengths lie and where we need to improve to keep moving forward. The key to our success will be how quickly we can get our new players (especially the setting position) up to speed with our returning players. 

Penn College
Head Coach:
Bambi Hawkins, 3rd season in NEAC, 16th season as Penn College Head Coach
2018-19 Record:
1-24 Overall, 0-11 NEAC
2018-19 Postseason:
N/A
Key Returners: 
Emalie Marnati, Peyton Homan, Hannah Burnett
Players to Watch:
Coryn Oswald
Key Losses:
None
Coach's Season Outlook:
Strong returning core with a more experienced incoming class than previous years. Anticipating an improved record. 

Penn State Abington
Head Coach:
Roy Watson, 1st season
2018-19 Record:
7-22 Overall, 2-9 NEAC
2018-19 Postseason:
N/A
Key Returners/Players to Watch:
Cortney Schwar, Samantha Link
Key Losses: Andia Anderson
Coach's Season Outlook:
Penn State Abington is committed to building a strong volleyball foundation this season while creating a competitive culture. Our athletes will develop a simple mindset and strong work ethic summarized by two simple rules. Work hard. Get better. We are excited to get the season rolling with our first competition on Friday, August 30th hosted by Kings College as we kick off the season against cross town rival Rosemont College.

Penn State Berks
Head Coach: Jessie Franko, 6th Season
2018-19 Record:
8-21 Overall, 5-6 NEAC
2018-19 Postseason:
N/A
Key Returners:
Madison Wojciechowski (Lib), Abbie Carr (MB), Natalie Dwyer (OH)
Players to Watch:
Zoe Barna (OH), Julia Rathsam (Set)
Key Losses:
Megan Lackman, Maddy Kessler, MacKenzie Reed
Coach's Season Outlook:
We are looking to bounce back this season and return to the conference playoffs. We have a great group of returners and strong set of newcomers that will push each other. The schedule starts off with some quality opponents and that will prepare us for when we get into NEAC play.

Penn State Harrisburg
Head Coach: Angela Burkett, 4th Season
2018-19 Record:
10-18 Overall, 1-6 CAC
2018-19 Postseason:
N/A
Key Returners/Players to Watch:
Brittany Ebaugh (Sr.), Katelyn Kreider (Sr.) Alexis Imler (Sr.), Melanie Sheaffer (Jr.)
Key Losses:
Kari Ammerman, Kerri Miller, Victoria Sweatlock
Coach's Season Outlook:
Penn State Harrisburg returns to the NEAC for the 2019 season after five years of competition in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC). The Lions are led by the program’s all-time leader in kills in senior Brittany Ebaugh, as well as fellow senior captains in defensive specialist/libero Katelyn Kreider and outside hitter/setter Alexis Imler. Junior hitter Melanie Sheaffer is back to help at the net, while sophomores Cheyanna Buckingham and Corrinne Cook are set to have expanded roles this fall.

SUNY Cobleskill
Head Coach:
Scott Hill, 17th Season
2018-19 Record:
7-16 Overall, 4-6 NEAC
2018-19 Postseason:
N/A
Key Returners/Players to Watch:
Reagan Hubner, Sr., RS/S; Mikayla Catherman, Sr., L/DS; Chase Mizell, Fr., OH; Maleigha Ellithorpe, Jr., S
Key Losses:
Mackenzie Holbert, Sr., Setter
Coach's Season Outlook:
A tough non-league schedule should prepare a deeper Fighting Tiger roster for the NEAC league season. Coach Hill sees the roster's depth and enhanced athletic ability as keys to a successful campaign.

SUNY Poly
Head Coach:
Juleah Wanner, 3rd season 
2018-19 Record:
14-17 Overall, 7-4 NEAC
2018-19 Postseason:
NEAC Quarterfinal
Key Returners:
Karlie King - Outside Hitter, all-conference player; Kaley Pichura - Setter who has been learning and working hard for the past 2 years behind a great setter to become a starter this year; Makayla Hulett - Outside Hitter who has continued to make improvements to her game; Brittany Adams - Right Side Hitter who was held back by injury last year is back and ready to be a big part of the offense again; Shannon McIntyre - Defensive specialist who is consistently improving and will hold down the defense this year.
Players to Watch:
Karlie King, Makayla Hulett, Shannon McIntyre, Emma Draper, Brittany Adams
Key Losses:
Sydney Johnson - all-conference setter; Cassandra Campion - Middle Hitter; Amanda Batten - all-conference Libero 
Coach's Season Outlook:
I am very excited to see what this group will do together! Overall, they have a great attitude and work ethic that has allowed for a lot of the girls to improve their game and step into the spotlight. The support they give each other is rewarding and I can’t wait to see them work together to stay one of the top teams in the NEAC. I have been happy with the defense especially so far and I think that will keep us in several games throughout this year.  

Wells College
Head Coach:
Mark Lucas, 4th Season 
2018-19 Record:
17-12 overall, 9-2 NEAC
2018-19 Postseason:
Semifinalist in NEAC playoffs. Won 3-1 vs. Keuka in quarterfinal, lost 3-2 to Lancaster Bible in semifinal.
Key Returners/Players to Watch:
Jackie Allen (2x All-NEAC), Rachel Anderson (2x NEAC First Team), Jazzmyne Williams (NEAC Third Team in 2018)
Key Losses:
Amanda Springer
Coach's Season Outlook:
The Express returns three all-conference players and six starters (two setters) for the 2019 season. Wells has been in the NEAC playoffs five straight years and looks to take the next step to the championship round, as they have been knocked out in the semifinal round all five years. Rachel Anderson is a two-time NEAC First Team honoree and was NEAC Rookie of the Year in 2017. Jackie Allen will be a senior leader and has been a two-time all-conference player. Starting middle Amanda Springer graduated after a solid four-year career.

******************************************************************************************************************************************

The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has 12 NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Cazenovia College, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Morrisville State, Penn College, Penn State Abington, Penn State Berks, Penn State Harrisburg, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Poly, and Wells College. Associate members are: Alfred State (M Lacrosse), Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), College of Saint Elizabeth (M Tennis & M Volleyball), D’Youville College (W Lacrosse), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse), Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf), SUNY Potsdam (M Volleyball) and Wilson College (M Volleyball). The NEAC has also partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sport of men’s tennis and women’s tennis. For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com.