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Muhlenberg College

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

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Season Preview
Volleyball looks to have golden year

In addition to drills, conditioning and scrimmaging, the Muhlenberg volleyball team incorporated a new activity into its preseason schedule for 2008 – television watching.

Megan Eiser
Eiser enters her senior season with 1,487 career assists, good for fifth place on the program’s all-time list.
With the United States volleyball teams enjoying tremendous success at the Olympics, the Mules logged considerable time watching their sport being played at the highest level, one night gathering at the home of coach Jenny Warmack-Chipman to watch a match against Cuba and watching other matches on their own.

The excellent showing by the U.S. in Beijing left the Muhlenberg team feeling good about its sport, and now the Mules hope to translate that into a season they can feel good about. They open up this weekend at Moravian’s Greyhound Premiere Invitational before returning home to host the 11th Buttermaker Tournament September 5-6.

“Everyone was so intense in the preseason,” said senior co-captain Danielle Losonci. “I don’t think we’ve had that before. It was one of our most hard-working teams in the preseason.”

Danielle Losonci
Losonci tied for third on the Mules with 277 digs.
The Mules will have to work hard to make up for the graduation losses of, statistically, their top offensive and defensive players, but they have a squad that is experienced and balanced.

A trio of juniors lead the team’s offense. Liz Dean looks to continue to improve after a breakthrough season in which she averaged 2.33 kills and hit a team-best .196. Brittany Williams, a co-captain, and Phylicia Lee are expected to take on bigger, more consistent roles.

Running the show from the setter position will be senior co-captain Megan Eiser, who led the team with 798 assists and was named to two all-tournament teams last year.

Sophomore middle Caitlin Dombkowski could be the most improved player on the team. Noted Losonci, “She is working so hard and making strides every day.”

Losonci is one of two returning back row players along with junior Christina Cangelosi, who was second on the team in total digs last year.

A strong group of freshmen were quickly incorporated into the team. “I don’t feel the distinction between classes that we’ve had before,” said Losonci. “I feel we’re all equal and we can all get the job done.”

The team will pay particular attention to getting the job done in close matches. Muhlenberg has dropped several contests in recent years where a point here or there could have made the difference, to the point where match scores and the team’s record (11-19 last year) are not reflective of the effort.

“Communication is going to be really important,” said Losonci. “We’re a very good ball-handling team. If we use that to our advantage, we’ll be good to go.”

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