2017 Season Outlook
HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College volleyball team looks ready for yet another trip to the Centennial Conference tournament in 2017. The Fords, who qualified for the Centennial Conference tournament for the 16th time in the last 17 campaigns a season ago, will have a young squad, with just one junior and one senior, but a seasoned sophomore class and a talented first year quartet.Haverford finished with at least 15 wins for the fifth straight season in 2016, dropping six of seven to end September before rattling off an 11-3 mark that included an undefeated conference slate in the month of October under first year head coach Drew Hargrave.
The Fords will have to replace first-team All-Centennial Conference hitter Valentine Courouble, but will return first-team All-Centennial Conference setter Zoe Wong, who steps into a captaincy in 2017.
Haverford will return All-Centennial setter Zoe Wong(9.26 assists per set) as well as Julia Gallagher-Teske, who finished near the top of the Centennial Conference in blocks (94) and blocks per set (0.9). Wong will look to anchor a young team from the setter spot while outside hitter Natalie Pisch (2.88 kills per set) returns as the junior captain on the squad. Sara Matsumura (3.69 digs per set) returns as does Kendall Robison and Christine Anderson.
First year players figure to factor into both the offensive and defensive sides of the game immediately. Sydney Miller, a setter from Phoenix, Ariz. joins hitters Allison Hall (Kirkland, Wash.), Claire Nicholas (Avon, Conn.) and Madison Adore (North Potomac, Md.) as newcomers to the team.
Haverford was picked fifth in the Centennial Conference preseason poll as the Fords received 65 points and were thus predicted to make the conference playoffs.
The action begins as Haverford hosts its annual Invitational tournament at Gooding '84 Arena to begin the regular season. The matchups begin on September 2 with Haverford taking on Rowan (1:00 p.m.) and 2016 NCAA tournament participant Stevens (3:00 p.m.) before the Fords return on Sunday, September 3 to face John Carroll (10:00 a.m.) and 2016 NCAA quarterfinalist Mary Washington (2:00 p.m.).
Haverford begins with eight straight home contests, the most consecutive home dates to begin a contest since the 1995 season when the Fords had nine straight matchups in Haverford. Other schedule highlights include a trip to Pittsburgh to face Carnegie Mellon, DeSales and Denison (October 20-21) and a home finale against rival Swarthmore (October 28).