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2011 Season Outlook
The Colby College volleyball team returns eight players from a year ago for the 2011 season.
Colby, which went 7-17 overall last year, will be led by senior co-captains Caitlin Burchill and Mackie Sewell. Burchill was second on the team last year in total kills (149) and third in defensive digs (291), while Sewell was third in blocks (38) and fifth in kills (78).
“Caitlin will lead us offensively and defensively from the outside hitter position,” Parent said. “Mackie has really worked hard to improve her defensive skills and has added a tough jump float serve.”
Sophomore middle hitter Lily Kramlich-Taylor had a fine first season with the Mules, leading the team in kills (151), tying for the team lead in service aces (39), and finishing second in blocks (39). Fellow sophomore Kate Pleasants led the Mules in assists (484) and was tied for first in service aces (33).
“Lily and Kate can connect in almost any situation and will be difficult to stop this season,” Parent said.
Maggie Taylor also returns after finishing second in digs (293) and fourth in kills (101). Meanwhile, Emily Varni had 150 digs (just 10 receiving errors) and 27 aces.
“Maggie is the most versatile and athletic player we have on our team and I expect her to really step up her game on the offensive end this season,” Parent said. “Emily missed almost half of the season last year due to a concussion and she returns very eager to contribute with her extraordinary defensive abilities.”
Kate Bellerose also returns for the Mules and will start opposite of Kramlich-Taylor at the middle blocker spot. Ellie Linden is back and will join newcomers Amanda Clifford and Megan Michie.
2010 Season Outlook
With some promising newcomers and a number of key starters returning, the Colby College volleyball team heads into the 2010 season with hopes of improving in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.
Head coach Candice Parent, back for her 17th year with the Mules (10-18 last year), has an experienced team led by senior captain and libero Clare Reich (Piedmont, Calif.), who led Colby in defensive digs a year ago with 373 and receiving percentage at .929.
The Mules also have experience at the net with senior middle blocker Heather Arvidson (Andover, Mass.) and junior outside hitter Caitlin Burchill (Walpole, Mass.). Arvidson led the Mules in kills (197) and was tied for the team lead in blocks with 56. Burchill was second behind Arvidson in kills with 182.
"The returners that stood out last year will again stand out this year, with Burchill and Arvidson leading the way," Parent said.
Maggie Taylor (Cabin John, Md.) moves from middle blocker to outside hitter after finishing with 49 kills, 100 digs, and 27 blocks in 2009.
"Maggie is an amazing defender and passer," Parent said. "She has also worked hard to improve her upper body strength and it really shows offensively in her arm swing."
Mackie Sewall (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Emily Varni (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) also return to the Mules after solid seasons a year ago. Sewall ranked third on the team in kills with 142 and was tied for first in blocks (56). Meanwhile, Varni showed her versatility last year by playing the setter role because of some injury problems to the starting setter. Varni was second on the team in both assists (106) and service aces (36). Senior defensive specialist Hannah Bowman (Hampden-Sydney, Va.) also returns.
First-year setters Kate Pleasants (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Ellie Linden (Andover, Conn.) are battling for the starting job. Kate Bellerose (West Newton, Mass.) and Lily Kramlich-Taylor (Sacramento, Calif.) will give the Mules size in the middle.