Tue., Aug. 23, 2011 El Cajon, CA--
Last season could be described as a roller coaster for the San Diego Christian College Volleyball team. A quick 8-3 start, including a top 10 rating in the initial NCCAA poll, was followed by a 1-17 stretch through a difficult GSAC schedule to end the season. Coach April Fisk and the 2011 Lady Hawks plan to use experience to start strong and maintain consistency through the conference season.
The Hawks are paced by Senior NCCAA All-American Lauren Howard (pictured left). Howard, a Phoenix native, is a three year starter and has led the team in kills each season. The Hawks look to Howard to lead an offensive attack that includes returning starters Stephanie Rice (L), Rachel Allen (RH), Jessica Brazynetz (DS/L) and Cassidy Mertens (S), who ranked 10th in conference in assists with 5.49 per game as a true freshman. Additional experience from seniors Kaitlen Laine (OH) and Lauren Hall (DS/L), plus New Mexico St. transfer Chelsea Rose (S) will help guide the Lady Hawks through the a difficult schedule that includes a total of 10 matches with five teams ranked among the top 12 in the NAIA. In addition to experience, unity is a key to improve the consistency. Junior Stephanie Rice added, “One special thing is this team has a drive and connection to each other. Not only motivated for the game of volleyball, but for the girl playing next to us.”
Coach Fisk has used a balanced recruiting strategy to build a team that includes two freshmen (Lauren Phillips and Terra Klem), four sophomores (Mariah Boelk, Aja Walker, Shelby Broberg, and Mertens), three juniors (Rose, Allen, and Rice), and four seniors (Laine, Howard, Brazynetz, and Hall).
“We need to be confident and not underestimate ourselves,” said Howard. “We are building a program and this team has a lot of potential.”
The Lady Hawks kick off their season on Wednesday, August 24th at The Master’s College Melee.