WESTON, Mass. – The Regis College women's volleyball team will have the honor of hosting the first Pride athletic event of the 2018-19 academic year, opening the new season with the first of 16 home matches this year.
Marc Turiano enters his second year as head coach of the Pride volleyball team after leading the team to its sixth straight winning conference record at 7-5 during the program's first year in the GNAC. Overall, Regis posted a 12-16 overall record in 2017, its sixth straight year with double-digit victories.
Turiano welcomes back 11 players from the 2017 squad, led by captains MacKenzie Emco (Sutton, Mass.), Caroline Fuentes (Downey, Calif.), and Katryna Veasey (Quincy, Mass.). Veasey was a Third Team All-GNAC selection last season and is currently second in Regis history in career kills per set average (2.64) and seventh in career kills (513).
The Pride will be looking for a new setter after both Shay Faber and Haley Schulte graduated, with Faber also leading the team in service aces last season with 49. Veasey collected 39 aces in 2017, while Fuentes finished with 36 aces, giving Regis plenty of experience at the service line.
Defensively, Regis was led at the net by Rachel Bartels (Edinburg, Texas) with 54 total blocks and Lauren Butt (Topsfield, Mass.) with 46 total blocks, including a team-high 12 solo blocks. The Pride should also gain some experience with middle blockers Samantha Turner (Concord, N.H.), who missed the entire 2017 season due to an injury, and Julia Pelland (Brockton, Mass.), a transfer from Mount Ida College who finished with 106 kills and 61 total blocks for the Mustangs as a freshman.
Veasey was also the team leader in digs last season with 227, but she is expected to receive help from defensive specialists Fuentes and Meg Adams (Ware, Mass.), each of whom collected over 100 digs last year.
On Friday, Aug. 31, starting at 7 p.m., the Pride will host Eastern Connecticut State at Higgins Court. The Warriors posted an 18-9 record in 2017, including a 4-3 record within the Little East Conference to finish in a tie for third place in the regular season standings. This will be the first meeting ever between Regis and Eastern Connecticut State.
After five straight road matches, the Pride will play 12 of 13 contests at home from Sept. 13 through Oct. 9. Regis concludes the regular season with a tri-match at St. Joseph (Conn.) on Oct. 27, followed by the GNAC Tournament to determine the league's representative into the NCAA Tournament.