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2008 Women's Volleyball Season Preview

Heidi Yohe Springfield, Mass. - Last season, for the 16th straight season, head coach Joel Dearing’s squad rattled off a 20-plus win season as the 2007 edition of the Pride went 23-10 and reached the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament Semifinals.

This year, Dearing’s squad appears poised to build on last season’s experiences and success as it looks to make a run at the NEWMAC title.

"We have more of a blend of experienced and new players this season, as opposed to the very young and inexperienced group that did such a fine job for us last year,” said Dearing. “As always, we hope to contend for the NEWMAC crown and a berth in the NCAA's.”

Springfield’s season opens up on September 5th when it hosts the Springfield College Invitational. The Pride will square off against SUNY Cobleskill at 5:00 pm before challenging Emerson at 7:00 pm in Blake Arena.

After leading the Pride last season with 398 kills and 573 digs, AVCA Division III New England All-Region Honorable Mention selection Aylene Ilkson headlines the returners as she looks to make her senior year her best yet.

Splashing onto the scene last season, the reigning NEWMAC Rookie of the Year, Bethany Stosz, made quite an impact in her first season. Stosz was sensational as she set a new single season school record in block assists with 97, as she led the conference in blocks and finished third on the team in kills with 316.

Also returning is arguably the team’s most consistent player in Heidi Yohe, who hammered out 345 kills at opposite hitter last season.

Looking to direct the offense for the will be sophomore Kelsea Hellyar, who dished out just over 11.5 assists per game in her freshman season. Also providing a spark in her first year at Springfield was middle Sarah Lang-Rodean and her 198 kills.

A duo of seniors in Jessica Baldwin and Aidan Tousey will anchor Springfield’s defense this season. Last year, the pair combined for 596 digs and took advantage at the service line, combining for 131 aces.

Dearing’s newcomers are highlighted by University of Delaware transfer, Heather Lively, who looks to make an immediate impact as one of the Pride’s new swing hitters. According to Dearing, several first year players have an excellent chance of contributing this fall, highlighted by the addition Lauren Torvi at middle blocker, Kim Giaquinto at opposite, and Meaghan Hart at libero.

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Head Coach Moira Long

Head Coach Moira Long Moira Long will enter her third season as head women's volleyball coach in the fall of 2013. Long has wasted little time putting her stamp on the program, taking the Pride to consecutive trips to the NCAA Championships, including the Elite Eight in 2011. Read more.

Contact Head Coach Moira Long

E-Mail | Phone: 413.748.3438

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