Washington College Athletics
August 23, 2016
CHESTERTOWN, Md. – The past three seasons have been some of the best years for the Washington College volleyball program as they have achieved three consecutive winning seasons and a 55-28 overall record. However, despite the overall record success the goal of reaching the Centennial Conference Tournament has eluded the Shorewomen. Even though the team went 17-10 in 2015 and 5-0 at home in Centennial play last fall, including a win over reigning conference champion McDaniel, the team was unable to duplicate the success on the road in conference play and just missed conference tournament.
This season the Shorewomen seek to reach their first-ever Centennial Conference Tournament and notch their fourth straight winning season under fourth-year head coach Jamie Leventry. Washington has not had four straight winning seasons in volleyball since 1976-79, the first four seasons of the program.
For the Shorewomen to reach the tournament, to overcome the losses of two of the most decorated players in program history in Jess Daunoras and Kristin Lee. Lee concluded her Washington College career second all-time in kills and digs and sixth in service aces and Daunoras finished her time with the Shorewomen tops in blocks and fifth in kills.
Three seniors who have been key contributors since arriving in Chestertown in the fall of 2013 are back for the 2016 season. Libero Audrey Utchen (San Ramon, Calif./Monte Vista). Utchen had a career-high and team-best 436 digs as a junior and also led the squad at 4.32 digs per set, while also adding 34 service aces, which was good for third on the squad. Utchen ranked sixth in the conference in digs and eighth in digs per set. Right-side hitter Alexis Jordan (Royal Palm Beach, Fla./Seminole Ridge) had 120 kills and 37 blocks as a junior, while Rachel Baker (Downingtown, Pa./Central Bucks West) had 209 digs and 25 aces. Jordan was one of five Washington players with 100 or more kills in 2015 and Baker was fourth on the team in digs. Baker, Jordan and Utchen are three of the 10 players Washington has back from the 2015 team that went 5-5 in Centennial competition.
Also back in the fold this season is junior setter Taylor Horan (San Diego, Calif./Point Loma). Horan had a strong sophomore season as she had 899 assists, 286 digs, 52 kills and 36 blocks. In the conference, she ranked second in assists per set (8.99) and third in assists. Horan had 16 double-doubles in 2015, including consecutive streaks of five and six matches. The junior is third all-time in program history in helpers with 1,668.
Leventry has two other impact players back in the mix this season in junior middle hitter Alaina Geissberger (Lake Villa, Ill./Grayslake North) and sophomore Kaitlyn Marino (Redding, Conn./Joel Barlow). Geissberger had a breakout sophomore season last fall as she had 141 kills, a .260 hitting percentage and 80 blocks, while having nine matches of four or more rejections in 2015. In the conference, she ranked third in blocks, fourth in solo blocks (21) and blocks per set (0.80), sixth in assisted blocks (59) eighth in hitting percentage. Marino had a strong rookie season with 220 kills, 2.18 kills per set and 33 blocks. Marino had one double-double last season at Goucher.
Junior setter/defensive specialist Sarah Bentley (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) was a key contributor last season as she had 154 digs for a clip of 2.05 digs per set and also chipped in with 18 aces. She had five matches of 10 or more digs last season, including a stretch of three straight matches with double-digit dig totals from September 24-30.
Other returnees that are expected to contribute on a high level are juniors Emily Houck (Plymouth Meeting, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh) and Amy Rohn(Paoli, Pa./Conestoga) and sophomore Lizzie Baden (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park). Rohn had 49 digs in 16 matches last season as she earned the team’s Most Improve Player award.
The team has two freshmen this season in outside hitter/defensive specialist Cassie Kowalski (Wilmington, Del./Delaware Military Academy) and defensive specialist Olivia Portera (Parkton, Md./Institute of Notre Dame).
Leventry is joined on the bench for the second straight year by assistant coach Morgan Hoover.
Washington for the second straight year will open its season on Friday, September 2 at the DeSales Invitational where they will play Gwynedd-Mercy (5:00 p.m.) and Baruch (7:00 p.m.) in the first day of the two-day invitational. The next day during the second and final day of the invitational, the Shorewomen will play host DeSales (12:00 p.m.) and Rutgers-Camden (2:00 p.m.).
The Shorewomen will open Centennial Conference play at Bryn Mawr on September 17 at 1:00 p.m. and two days later have their home opener versus Arcadia at 7:00 p.m.
In conference play, Washington will host Johns Hopkins (September 28), Muhlenberg (October 1), Swarthmore (September 4), Franklin & Marshall (October 22) and Haverford (October 26) and will travel to in addition to Bryn Mawr, Gettysburg (September 24), Dickinson (October 15), Ursinus (October 19) and defending conference champion McDaniel (October 29).
Out of conference, in addition to Arcadia, WC will host Salisbury on October 22 as part of a tri-match with F&M. Washington will step outside of CC play to play at Alvernia (September 10), Marymount (September 14), Catholic (September 21), Neumann (October 7) and Wesley (October 11) and will also play Immaculata at Alvernia (September 10) and Penn State-Behrend at Neumann (October 7) and Rowan and King’s (Pa.) at Neumann (October 8). Washington has seven home matches, 11 road matches and seven neutral site contests.