Coming off an outstanding 21-7 season in 2008 which included an 8-2 NESCAC record and appearance in the NESCAC tournament semi-finals, the Cardinals have the talent and experience to continue the team's string of four consecutive winning campaigns and nine in the last 10 years. With the 2009 season fast approaching, the Wesleyan volleyball team continues to add to its list of achievements from the 2008 campaign. The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) has announced that the Cardinals are among the recipients of the AVCA Team Academic Award.
Despite the loss of two-time NESCAC Player of the Year Lisa Drennan '09 to graduation, Wesleyan has two-time NESCAC second-team all-conference setter Ellie Healy '10 (#10, main photo) and solid middle hitter Ashley Farrow '11 (#13, photo insert upper right) to lead the team as co-captains. Farrow ranked second in the squad with 226 kills in 2008. Also back are outside hitters Casey Reed '12 and Alissa Santucci '12, who ranked third and fourth, respectively, in kills last season. Two-year starting libero Ruby Hernandez '11 also returns to pace the defense. She logged a team-high 534 digs in 2008, nearly double the next highest figure on the squad.
Three other returning players are Stephanie Hucker '11, Lesley Faulkner '11 and Christina You '12 and will be joined by seven first-year players on the preseason roster of 15 players.
Drennan, who earned second-team AVCA All-America honors and also was a second-team CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine academic All-American, has pursued a professional career in Europe and has landed a spot on a volleyball team in Brondby, Denmark.
The 2009 Cardinals will inaugurate their season Friday, Sept. 11 when they face Wellesley on the road in the first of three weekend matches. On Sat., Sept. 12, Wesleyan takes on Johns Hopkins and Amherst.
(photos courtesy of SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com)