The 2012 Susquehanna volleyball team has a balance of veteran players and talented newcomers with plenty of versatile, multi-positional members throughout the roster. This group will be vying for its first Landmark Conference Championship.
Entering his 10th season on the sidelines at SU, head volleyball coach Kuuipo Tom welcomes back eight veterans, including seniors Emily Carson and Kaylee Monga, from last year’s squad that won 19 matches with a 5-1 conference mark.
Carson reached the 1,000 kill plateau last season and currently ranks sixth all-time in career kills with 1,032. She also ranks seventh in career points (1,242), ninth in career attack percentage (.264) and 10th in digs with 859. In 2011, Carson led the Crusaders in kills with 461.
Tom will call upon Carson to provide leadership, both on and off the court as well as in her captain position.
Monga is the strongest defensive player on the squad as she looks to improve on a 2011 campaign that saw her lead the team with 133 total blocks. Monga was ranked in the top 50 in Division III with 1.04 blocks per set.
Monga is also climbing up the SU record books as she stands in fifth place with 222 career block assists and is tied for eighth in total blocks (268).
Tom is depending on his trio of talented sophomores in Hayley Dunkel, Julia Caruso and Jessica Holm to better grasp the pace and intensity of the game. Several newcomers to the team will be competing for starting spots in the rotation as well.
This year, the Crusaders face off against five top thirty preseason teams according to the AVCA Coaches poll including conference rival No. 10 Juniata during the first Landmark Conference weekend at Goucher on Sept. 29-30.
SU concludes another busy travel schedule at No. 19 Southwestern (Texas) from Oct. 26-27.
“We sacrifice home time for more opportunities and a full experience while traveling”, Tom said. “By doing this, we hope to build better team chemistry year by year.”
SU has four home events this year, starting Sept. 19 against Hood. The Crusader Classic will be held from Oct. 6-7. On Oct. 10, the Crusaders host Gettysburg and Oct. 22 is Senior Night against PSU-Altoona.