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Vollyball team looks to take step forward this season

By Gordy Stillman

Section: Sports

August 31, 2012

Last fall, the volleyball team had no seniors and finished 9-21, 0-10 in University Athletic Association (UAA) play. While they struggled, they had a chance to rebuild for this year. Yael Einhorn ’14, last season’s captain, wrote in an email, “We had all young players, [and] no seniors. Now that we have played together for a year we are hoping for better results.” Becca Fischer ’13 wrote that from the experience they built last year “we are now ready to come out fighting and utilize what we learned to have a fantastic season.” Aside from retaining 10 of 10 players from last season, the team has added four new players from the class of 2016. “It is too early to tell” exactly what the impact of the incoming teammates will be, odds are that the added players will only help, Einhorn wrote. Fischer noted “[we] are so glad to have them … we have a million new options.” While a million options might be a slight stretch, there’s certainly no doubt that with four new players, there are quite a few new options for a team that has played together for nearly a year. Among reasonable expectations, Einhorn included “we [expect] to do well this season. Our conference is always tough [and includes] the best teams in Division III.” “We are ready to play the best volleyball we know how to, and are ready to work together to bring home as many wins as possible,” Fischer wrote. The most recent NCAA rankings from Aug. 16, lists two UAA teams ranked in the top 10, and a third team among the top 15. Washington University in St. Louis and Emory took the number two and four spots respectively, while the University of Chicago took 15th on the list. “They all deserve to be in the top 15,” Einhorn said. “Emory and Washington University are challenging every year, and [the] University of Chicago did very well last year,” Einhorn wrote. “The UAA is the hardest Division III Conference; all of the UAA teams are great.” The Judges will also face non-conference opponents at various tournaments this season. This weekend the Judges have three matches at the Western Connecticut State University Invitational. Next Wednesday they will host a home opener against Wellesley, and the first of two tournaments with the Brandeis Invitational. The Judges will also close their season by hosting the Judges Classic at the end of October, before competing in the UAA championships tournament in early November. Einhorn relates that the non-conference schedule “is definitely not easy. Most of the teams we play are very challenging, but it is good because they [help] prepare us for the tough competition we face in the UAA.” Among non-conference opponents, the NCAA’s regional-ranks from the end of last season, place Tufts and Wellesley among New England’s top eight. There’s no doubt that this season will be challenging. With four new players joining their roster, this season should be very exciting as they work to improve on last year’s record. The season starts tonight, Aug. 31, with their first match at the Western Connecticut State University Invitational against Salve Regina at 7:30 p.m. The Judges will host Wellesley on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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