Volleyball Season Preview

Volleyball Season Preview

CHESTERTOWN, Md. – The Washington College volleyball program seeks to reach its first-ever Centennial Conference Tournament and notch its fifth winning season in seven years under seventh-year head coach Jamie Leventry in 2019 as the Shorewomen look to rebound from a 10-16 campaign overall and a 3-7 mark in Centennial competition.

To reach the conference tournament, Washington must overcome the loss of 2019 graduate Kaitlyn Marino, a two-time All-Centennial Conference performer who averaged 2.54 kills per set and 1.83 digs per set over her four years with the team.

The two seniors on Leventry's squad this year are right-side hitter/defensive specialist Cassie Kowalski (Wilmington, Del./Delaware Military Academy) and defensive specialist Olivia Portera (Parkton, Md./Institute of Notre Dame)

Kowalski, who played in all 26 contests in 2018 on her way to earning Team MVP honors, led the squad in kills per set (2.26) and aces per set (0.31), second in digs per set (2.82) and third in hitting (.163).  She also handed out a career-best 51 assists and her 26 blocks were a personal-high.  Portera set career-highs in matches played (23), assists (21), aces (12) and digs (124) in 2018. 

The six juniors for the 2019 edition of Shorewomen Volleyball are right-side hitter Laura Cochrane (Southampton, Pa./William Tennant), defensive specialist/setter Abby Hilty (Annandale, N.J./North Hunterdon), middle hitter Kylie Peets (Salmon, Idaho/Salmon), outside hitter/middle hitter Maggie Pietrucha (Denville, N.J./Villa Walsh Academy), middle hitter Isabella Sansanelli (East Northport, N.Y./Elwood-John H. Glenn) and outside hitter Abby Smith (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley)

Smith finished second on the team in kills (169) and kills per set (1.94), tied for second on the club in aces (24) and fourth in blocks (28) as she played in all 28 matches last fall.  She had 11 matches of double figure digs and four double-doubles as she earned her first Centennial Conference Volleyball Player of the Week Award last October.   

Sansanelli had a breakout sophomore campaign last year as she led the Shorewomen in blocks (80), solo blocks (15), assisted blocks (65) and blocks per set (0.88), while also finishing tops on the team in hitting percentage (.272).  She was fourth on the team in kills (152) and kills per set (1.67).  In Centennial play, the Team's Most Improved Player, ranked third total blocks, fourth in solo and assisted rejections and fifth in hitting. 

Peets was limited in 2018 to five matches due to injuries, but she still tallied 19 kills, hit .255 and had 10 blocks.  Cochrane registered 14 kills in 10 matches a season.  Pietrucha competed in six matches and notched career-bests of 21 kills, 12 digs and seven service aces in 2018.  Hilty participated in just six contests due to injury last fall where she netted 24 digs and six aces.

Washington will be graced by six sophomores this fall.  They are middle hitter Jenna Daunoras (Shamong, N.J./Seneca), outside hitter/defensive specialist Brittney Guy (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck), setter Jensyn Hartzell (Nazareth Pa./Nazareth Area), libero Kahley Jaeke (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./Capistrano Valley Christian), defensive specialist Jenny Kabrick (Broadlands, Va./Briar Woods) and setter Lauren Zedlar (Burbank, Calif./John Burroughs)

Zedlar delivered a team-high 412 assists and 4.58 assists per set as tying for second in aces with 24 and third in digs 212 and digs per set (2.36) in 26 matches.  In the Centennial, she was 10th in assists and assists per set as she also registered eight double-doubles. 

Daunoras, who played in 24 contests in 2019, was second on the team in blocks (55), assisted blocks (44) and solo blocks (11) with her 11 solo rejections being good for sixth in the CC.  She was second on the team in blocks per set (0.73) and that ranked eighth amongst all Centennial players.  Daunoras also hit .310 in her rookie campaign for the Shorewomen.

Hartzell had 301 helpers last season, good for second on the team, with 140 digs and 23 aces as she was fourth on the team in aces and fifth in digs.  She had a .298 hitting percentage on 18 kills and just four errors in 47 attack attempts.

Kabrick averaged 2.21 digs per set as she had 104 digs in 47 sets and 19 matches last fall.  Jaeke had to sit out her freshman year due to injury, while Guy joins the squad for her sophomore season.

One freshman joins the Shorewomen this season, outside hitter Courtney Maxwell (Middletown, Del./Caravel Academy)

Leventry is joined on the bench for the 2019 season by assistant coach Alexis Jordan '17.  Jordan returns to her alma mater after returning to her native Florida after graduation.  In her four years with the Shorewomen from 2013-16, Jordan notched 529 kills, 112 assists, 21 service aces, 286 digs and 135 blocks in 100 career matches.  As a senior, she served as a team captain.

Schedule Breakdown
Total Matches: 26 (eight home, 10 away and eight neutral)
Season Opener: August 31 versus Rivier and Central Bayamon at San Juan, P.R. (11:00 a.m.)
Home Opener: September 11 versus Catholic (7:00 p.m.)
Road Opener: September 5 at Rosemont (7:00 p.m.)
Centennial Home Opener: September 21 versus Gettysburg (12:00 p.m.)
Centennial Away Opener: September 25 at Bryn Mawr (7:00 p.m.)
Centennial Home Opponents: Gettysburg, Johns Hopkins (10/2), Franklin & Marshall (10/19 – Senior Day), Swarthmore (10/23), Ursinus (10/30)
Centennial Road Opponents: Bryn Mawr, McDaniel (10/5), Dickinson (10/12), Haverford (10/16) and Muhlenberg (11/2)
Non-Conference Home Opponents: Catholic, Goucher (9/18), Wesley (9/21)
Non-Conference Road Opponents: Rosemont, St. Mary's (Md.) (9/14), Immaculata (9/26), Stevenson (9/28), Notre Dame (Md.) (10/10)
Non-Conference Neutral Opponents: Politechnica (P.R.) and Rivier at San Juan, P.R. (9/1), Lynchburg and Virginia Wesleyan at Gallaudet (9/7), Hood at St. Mary's (Md.) (9/15), Misericordia at Stevenson (9/28)
NCAA Tournament Teams: Franklin & Marshall, Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame (Md.), Stevenson