GENESEO, N.Y. – The SUNY Geneseo women's volleyball team opens the 2016 season this week with four matches at the Mount Union (Ohio) Invitational Friday and Saturday.
Second-year head coach Amber Dunn looks to build on her first season at the helm in which the Knights finished with a 16-18 overall record and one victory shy of qualifying for the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Tournament.
"I'm looking forward to a competitive season and seeing what we can do as the season progresses," said Dunn. "We return a lot of experience and talent that should pair well with the new players that have joined the program."
Despite the graduation of two-time All-SUNYAC middle blocker Paige Pendleton, Dunn will have plenty of leadership returning in her senior class. Starting in the middle, senior Courtney Cleary is back after finishing fourth in the league and first for the Knights with a .301 hitting percentage while ending up third on the squad with 2.48 kills per set. First-year Kat Vernon should also factor in the Knights' front row success.
Senior outside hitter Tricia Baxley returns following a junior campaign that saw her finish second for Geneseo with 2.52 kills per set and tied for second with Cleary with 270 kills. Senior right side Emma Lannon totaled 139 kills for the team's fifth-highest total while her 43 service aces led the squad.
Sophomores Kaci Snyder and Madison Kosuda will be in the hunt for increased roles after appearing on a limited basis a year ago while first-years Abbey Scheffler, Abby May, Grace Cergol and Shea Casey also join the squad looking to make an impact on the hitting corps right away.
Senior defensive specialist Danielle Sayler was the team's primary libero last season, leading the way with 466 digs that ranked fifth in the SUNYAC as well as 3.82 digs per set. Sophomore Sarah Bain is back after compiling 233 digs and 2.59 digs per set which were both third on the team.
Sophomore Emily Ast took over starting setter duties midway through last year's campaign, finishing the year with a team-best 587 assists as well as 7.62 assists-per-set.