SELINSGROVE, Pa. -- Susquehanna University's women's volleyball team is looking to stay on the winning track and continue its success it has found over the past three seasons. Despite losing several important players, including 2010 Landmark Conference Player of the Year and SU All-Time Kills Leader Lindsey Jankiewicz, the Crusaders are expecting upperclassmen to embrace the challenge that lies ahead in 2011.
Returning are three All-Landmark Conference team members, including team captains Shona St. Angelo and Emily Carson, as well as First Team All-Conference member Kaylee Monga. In addition, senior right side hitter Natalie Cicioni, senior defensive specialist Kate Reese and junior defensive specialist Dana Kreutzer are experienced members ready to compete.
Head coach John Kuuipo Tom, entering his ninth season, has high expectations for his 2011 recruiting class, which include middle hitters Jessica Holm, Hayley Dunkel, Carlie Krill, and setter Julia Caruso.
The Crusaders finished the 2010 campaign with an overall record of 25-12, a 5-1 conference record and an impressive 10-3 record at its home court, Orlando W. Houts Gymnasium.
A hectic schedule will afford only four home contests for the Crusaders, but the team is looking forward to the challenge and travel.
The season's first match on Sept. 3 is against Bethany (W.V.) at Haverford College during the Haverford Tournament.
Conference play begins on Oct. 1 against United States Merchant Marine Academy and Goucher in Huntingdon, Pa.
The match against Juniata on Oct. 2 marks the first time in 31 years that Coach Larry Bock will not be patrolling the sidelines for the Eagles.
Landmark Conference play continues against Moravian and Scranton on Oct. 15 at Catholic. The Crusaders again play Catholic on Oct. 16 and Scranton on Oct. 22.
The Crusaders' home opener is Oct. 7, as Susquehanna hosts the sixth annual Hampton Inn Crusader Classic. The tournament competition includes King's (Pa.), Elmira, PSU-Berks and Albright.
Joining Coach Tom on the sidelines this year are assistant coaches Alison Messner, Dan Sigafoos, Stephanie Rozalis and student assistant Deborah Gravina '14.