(Nashua, N.H.) The 2017 Raiders have their goals set to compete in their 8th straight Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship match but have a long road ahead of them with a challenging GNAC schedule lined up. Rivier returns just 3 out 7 starters from last year's record breaking 31 win squad so expect to see some new names and faces working hard for the new look Raiders. RIV will be challenged by some tough out-of-conference teams throughout the season hopefully preparing the Raiders for battle against some very determined GNAC teams.
Last season Bethany Trevino (5'3, L/DS, Westminster, Colo.), who became just the 5th player in program history to reach 1,000 digs, will anchor the Raiders back row for one more year as the team libero and leader. Trevino's calm demeanor and solid ball control should provide a solid backbone for all aspects of this Raiders team. The calm of Trevino will be complimented with the constant energy of classmate Madison Soucy (5'6, L/DS, Tolland, Conn.). Soucy will be relied upon once again to elevate her game and bring her brand of hustle and determination to the Raiders defense in hopes of frustrating the opponent's attackers and servers. Both will look to put the opponent's offense on the defense right away as well with their aggressive serves.
Fellow seniors Alex Trevains (5'10, MH, Litchfield, N.H.) and Erin Rosa (5'11, MH, Cumberland, R.I.) both hope to make the transition to a constant full time role in the front row for RIV. Both players have the size and potential to score as well as put up a solid block so look for them to do just them for the Blue and White.
Junior Hayley Macken (5'8, S, Clifton Park, N.Y.) had a break out season in 2016 being named to the AVCA Honorable Mention All-New England Team. The 3rd year setter directed the 2nd ranked GNAC offense in 2016 and will be relied upon to be the floor general of the offense once again this season. Her knowledge and athleticism should go a long way in helping the younger Raider players flourish on offense. Classmate Taylor White (5'6, OH, Dunstable, Mass.) hopes to make her mark as a major player this season with an improved passing game and back row play.
The three sophomores will look to take what they learned from backing up some of the best players in Raiders history last season and make a giant leap forward as key players for RIV this season. Taylor Dunster (5'7, OH, Sutton, Mass.) has the tools to be Rivier's most rounded player and will make a push as the number one option on the outside while being a main piece in serve receive and defense. Both Sunny Foglia (6'0, MH, Remsenburg, N.Y.) and Jessica Whyte (5'10, MH, Plymouth, Mass.), had a strong off-season of training and will look to take the next step of being main players at the net. Skyla Insogna (5'4, DS, Woburn, Mass.) will help round out the back row with her passing and defense.
A host of talented newcomers will make their debut in the Doon this season. Expect to see giant strides from this group as the season progresses. Local New Hampshire natives Emma Soucy (6'0, MH, Dunbarton, N.H.) and Jill Rabasco (6'0, OPP, Nashua, N.H.) will bring their talents to the RIV court in the middle hitter and opposite hitter positions and should be big additions to the Raiders net play. Both were MVP's of their respective teams and both should make an immediate impact. Central Catholic High School teammates Julia Zargaj (5'11, MH, Groveland, Mass.) and Kat Antczak (5'6, S, Salem, N.H.) will continue their journey on the court together. Zargaj was an MVC all conference middle hitter while Antczak was the MVC Player of the Year setting up Zargaj. Expect to see the duo make solid contributions as they get more comfortable with the collegiate game. 2-time DCL All Star Julianna Byington (5'8, MH, Bedford, Mass.) and Hockomock League All-Stars Ally Zagami (5'7, OH, Milford, Mass.) should bring some versatility with the ability to hit and add ball control in the back row while New Hampshire State Champion Brynn Coleman (5'10, OH, Dover, N.H.), league all-star Joy Maswoswe (5'8, OH, Ashland, Mass.), and Middlesex League All-Star Cat Torpey (6'0, OPP, Melrose, Mass.) will all add needed power to the pins for the Blue and White.