FSU volleyball begins ‘18 in a familiar spot
Special to The OBSERVER
After being voted fourth in the SUNYAC preseason poll in 2017, the Fredonia State women’s volleyball team caught the conference by surprise and finished in second place in the regular season, then advanced to the SUNYAC Championship match before falling to Brockport. One year later, the team finds itself in a similar position after being voted fourth in this year’s pre-season poll.
“As in any season, our expectations are high, but our athletes are smart and mature enough to know that nothing is going to come easy,” said head coach Geoff Braun.
The Blue Devils lost three starters from last season’s team, including all-conference and all-region selections Courtney Poirier and Hallie Christopher. Kristen Stanek was also selected All SUNYAC. Poirier was the Defensive Player of the Year in the SUNYAC.
This season, the Blue Devils will be led on the court by their two seniors and team captains, Kailey Falk and Rachel Aiello. Falk was a First Team All SUNYAC selection last year.
Setter Amanda Mosack is the lone returning junior. Kaitlin Patt, Makenna Kallin, Emma Booth, Emma Falk and Selena Brown make up the sophomore class. Falk and Brown saw significant action as starters as middle blockers.
When asked about filling the gaps left by last season’s seniors, Braun noted that the team brought in eight new athletes — six freshmen and two junior transfers.
Among the new members of the team in 2018 is freshman Brooke Ostrye, a 2018 graduate of Forestville High School and a former Lady Hornet volleyball star. Additionally, freshman Emily Jones had a tremendous preseason and is expected to make an immediate impact. Transfers SallyAnne Rudny (Jamestown/Southwestern) from Jamestown Community College and Maddie Shafer from Erie C.C. add experience. Other freshmen include Emily Leone, Brinn Shaughnessy, Caroline Roy and Christie Ackendorf.
Fredonia State began its season in Cortland, in the Red Dragon Classic last Friday. The Devils played matches against the University of Rochester and Lebanon Valley, along with Keene State and Wells a day later on Saturday. Fredonia came out of the stretch with a 3-1 record.