Sixth ranked volleyball sets high expectations

Published by adviser, Author: Brian Hepfinger - Rocket Contributor, Date: August 31, 2012
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The Slippery Rock University women’s volleyball team is ready to have a successful season, entering with a 6th place preseason ranking in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

California University of Pa. is predicted to repeat as the champion in the PSAC-West.

The Rock finished the 2011 season with an overall record of 20-12, winning their first fourteen games.

Head coach Laurie Lokash is entering her 29th season at Slippery Rock.
Senior Sarah Cadwallader and sophomore Janna Reilly are the top returners for the Green and White, each receiving honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Cadwallader earned All-Atlantic Region team honors. Last season, she recorded 231 kills, 2.51 kills per set, a .257 hitting percentage, 53 blocks, 37 digs, and 29 assists.

Reilly earned the title of Atlantic Region’s Freshman of the Year, as well as PSAC Freshman of the Year. She finished her first year with 1,108 assists, 227 digs, 36 blocks, 29 aces, and 26 kills.

Other top returners for the squad include senior Hannah McShea, junior, Caroline Houston, senior Hayley Wilson, and senior Lexi Arnold.

The Rock welcomes six incoming freshmen to the  team.

Cadwallader doesn’t think that the low preseason ranking will determine how the season will play out.

“Honestly, I’d rather come into the season as the underdog and build up from there,” Cadwallader said. “Being ranked low means we can only go up.”
Junior Lauren Rojek thinks that having a low preseason ranking could be an open opportunity for the squad.

“It’s something that we look at as an opportunity for us to improve,” Rojek said. “It’s a chance to cause upsets in the PSAC.  We have an extremely talented group of girls this year, and we have the ability to beat high caliber teams.”

Cadwallader thinks that the Rock will work together as a team to reach their individual and team goals.

“I think that as a team, the talent and the expectations we have in ourselves will surprise our opponents,” Cadwallader said. “We will win, and lose as a team.  No one player will determine that.  That’s why we play a team sport.”

The Rock kicks off the season today against Adelphi University as part of the Marauder Clash Tournament held at Millersville University.

The Green and White will begin the season with eleven straight road matches before their first home game on September 18th against the University of Charleston.

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