(Nashua, NH) The Rivier University Women's Volleyball team will look to build on last year's GNAC Finalist result by not only getting back to the GNAC Championship match but this time bringing home a GNAC title and what would be the Raiders 5th GNAC Championship in program history.
River will rely on a talented senior class who will be competing for their 2nd GNAC Championship in 3 years. 2012 All GNAC 1st Team and GNAC All Tournament Team member Nicole Peacock (5'8, MH, Warwick, RI) and fellow classmate Nicole Boucher (5'9, MH, Windham, NH) will be the foundation for the Raiders title run. Once again their all-around play of serving, hitting and blocking will be an immense part of the Raiders success. Their overall leadership skills will be tested too with nearly three quarters of this year's RIV squad being sophomores or freshmen.
Jessica Amaral (5'3, L/DS, East Providence, RI) will look to cement her place on a long list of solid Raider libero's and will bring hustle, energy and enthusiasm to the court for RIV while fellow senior Morgan Peck (6'0, OPP, Sudbury, MA) will work her way towards a key role in this year's team.
The majority of the sophomore class played a significant part for the Blue and White in 2012 and will be leaned on even more this season. Emily O'Reilly (5'7, S, San Francisco, CA), an ALL GNAC 3rd Team member in her inaugural year, will direct the Raider offense once again. O'Reilly's off season training should benefit her towards becoming one of the top setter's in the GNAC.
Jackie Pisecco (5'9, OH, Chelmsford, MA) saw a good amount of action in the outside hitter position during her rookie campaign and will hopefully build on that experience to take the next step while defensive stand outs Nikki Deluga (5'5, L/DS, Cotuit, MA) and Lyndsey Sweeney (5'5, L/DS, Coventry, RI) will look to do the same in the back row for the Raiders.
Sam LaRosa (5'7, S, Salem, NH) will back-up O'Reilly in the setter spot while continuing to develop her setting skills
This season's newcomers should prove to be an impressive group with a blend of size, talent, and athleticism. Molly McCormack (5'7, OH, Ballston Lake, NY) is a 2-time state champion as well as a Suburban Council MVP and a 1st Team All-State selection for the always successful Burnt Hills – Ballston Lake High School. Expect to see the 5'7" outside playing an intricate part for the Raiders with her ball control abilities. Lauren Silverman (5'11, MH, Chelmsford, MA), a Merrimack Valley All-State player and the Merrimack Valley Conference MVP, will bring good length and size to the squad and should make an immediate impact in the front row. Chelsey Hussey (5'10, OH, Lebanon, CT) is yet another All-Conference and All State 1st Team member but this time from Connecticut. Hussey's size and athleticism will be utilized at the pins for RIV.
Kayla Smith (5'8, OPP/MH, Eastham, MA) quite possibly will be the most athletic student-athlete on this year's team. The 3-time Nauset Regional High School MVP and 2-time Atlantic Coast All Star will show off her impressive jumping ability in the front row this season. Dana Mott (5'10, MH, Medway, MA), a Massachusetts Tri-Valley All Star and Medway High School's Offensive Player of the Year, and Jessica Drolet (5'10, MH/OH, Tiverton, RI), a Rhode Island All Division player and a Tiverton High School MVP, both hope to bring their offensive prowess to the court and help bolster the Raiders offense.