The Alfred State College volleyball team is ranked #5 in the preseason NJCAA Division III poll released this week. The Lady Pioneers are coming off a 2008 season in which they finished 4th in the nation with a program best 38-4 record.
Defending national champion Brookhaven (TX) College is ranked #1 followed by Hibbing (MN) CC, Ridgewater (MN) College, and Harper (IL) College. Region III opponents Monroe CC and Jamestown CC are ranked 9th and 10th respectively.
The Pioneers return four players, Emily Linn (Portville), Chrissy Nolan (Niagara Wheatfield), Heather Gerace (Avon), and Jessica Suojanen (Saranac Lake), from last year's squad. Linn was a honorable mention All-WNYAC selection after recording 300 kills, 204 digs, and 53 blocks. Nolan saw action in 106 games and registered 219 digs, 24 service aces, and 23 kills. Gerace appeared in 13 games while Suojanen played in six.
Head Coach Gene Doorley will have to replace NJCAA All-Americans Yurika Toyodome and Jenni Jerome. Toyodome is now playing at Davenport (MI) University and Jerome is a member of the volleyball team at Glenville (WV) State.
The Alfred State volleyball team has made back-to-back trips to the NJCAA Division III National Champships after winning the Region III Division III title the past two years. During the past three season the team has a 106-13 record.
The Lady Pioneers kick off their season on September 5th when they host Monroe CC, SUNY Delhi, and Nassau CC (preseason ranked #8) in a quad-match. Action is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at the Orvis Activities Center.