Immediate Release: August 5, 2005
Contact: David O'Brian (email@example.com)
Volleyball Preview: Young team seeks return to conference tournament
Coming off its first trip to the America East Conference Tournament,
the Binghamton University volleyball team enters the 2005 season
with a young squad looking to continue the Bearcats' recent success.
Head coach Glenn Kiriyama graduated one of his best senior classes
but welcomes five promising newcomers.
"We are going to be young this year," Kiriyama said.
"Our success will depend on how fast our underclassmen mature.
Our sophomores and juniors have been improving at a pretty good
rate so hopefully the freshman will improve during the season."
Kathleen Schauer and junior Kaitlyn Robertson are
the teams top two returning outside hitters. Freshman Brianna
Strong and junior Katie Brody are the top newcomers.
Schauer arrived from Colorado last season and worked her way
into the lineup towards the end of the season. Robertson played
in 26 matches in 2004 and figures to be more of a factor this
"Kathleen improved during the spring," Kiriyama said.
"She is a solid player who has developed as a hitter. Kaitlyn
has been working to improve her offense. She is in good shape
and we need production from her this season."
Strong comes from Concord High School, located in Elkhart, Indiana.
She is a three-year all-conference player who was twice selected
the Offensive Player of the Year.
"Brianna has the potential to be a great all-around player,"
Kiriyama said. "She has a strong arm and should produce
very quickly for us."
Brody is a transfer from Division III SUNY Cortland. She was
named to the AVCA New York Region first team as a sophomore and
was also an Honorable Mention Division III All-American.
"Katie had a great career at Cortland," Kiriyama said.
"She comes in with a lot of experience and should be able
to help us."
The Bearcats return a pair of proven players in junior
Megan Hoag and sophomore Jacki Kane. Hoag, who
has started the past two seasons, will be the team captain.
"We are going to be looking to Megan for leadership both
on and off the court," Kiriyama said. "She works as
hard as anyone on our team and is consistent in all phases of
Kane is coming off a season in which she was named to the America
East All-Rookie Team as well as honorable mention all-conference.
"I've been impressed with the continued progress that Jackie
has made since last season," Kiriyama said. "She had
a good spring, did a solid job of blocking and hitting."
Ashley Meffert and freshman Ashley Allen will anchor
the Bearcats at the setter position this year. Meffert, a two-year
starter, was named to the America East All-Rookie Team in 2003.
"Ashley (Meffert) has gotten a lot of reps the past two
seasons," Kiriyama said. "She has the ability to throw
other teams off balance. We are looking for her to show leadership
Allen comes from Henry Jackson High School in Mill Creek, Washington.
She was an all-league hitter in 2004 and helped lead her team
to a third-place finish at the district championship.
"We are hoping for Ashley to contribute right away,"
Kiriyama said. "She has the height (6-1) to be a pretty
pair of freshmen will be counted on to lead Binghamton in the
Jaclyn Strader is a defensive specialist from Julienne
Catholic High School in Kettering, Ohio. She earned all-district
honors her junior and senior years and was named the team's Most
Outstanding Defensive Player. She is the leading candidate to
be the Bearcats' libiro.
will be called on immediately to help our back row defense,"
Kiriyama said. "She brings a great wealth of experience
from a solid high school and club program. Her quickness and
her passing abilities will be utilized to enhance the overall
effectiveness of our team defense and serve reception."
Katherine Courage comes from Cox High School in Virginia
Beach, Virginia. She was named first-team all-state, all-district
and all-region her senior season
"Katherine will find a way to contribute to our team,"
Kiriyama said. "She is a hard worker who will be able to
accomplish much during her career."
heading into the America East Conference schedule, the Bearcats
will take part in tournaments at Holy Cross, William & Mary,
Cleveland State and Yale to prepare for the 12 conference matches.
In the America East Conference Albany and Maine both of whom
reached the America East finals in 2004, are the top two returning
conference teams. Northeastern, which was the other team besides
Binghamton to qualify for the post season, is no longer in the
America East. New Hampshire and Stony Brook are the two other
teams to compete with the Bearcats' for a tournament berth.
" We have a tough non-conference schedule this season, especially
at the William & Mary Tournament," Kiriyama said. "Still,
that will help because the America East continues to get better.
The tougher the competition we have at the start of the season,
the better prepared we'll be when it's time to play the conference