Delaware Plays Spring Tournament at Navy, Brings Home Championship by Going 4-0
March 6, 2011
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - - For the first time since coming off their 2010 Colonial Athletic Association regular season and tournament championship, University of Delaware volleyball head coach Bonnie Kenny got her first good look at next year’s squad as they competed in their annual Spring Tournament, hosted by Navy on Saturday.
If this weekend was any indication of how next year’s team will fare, Kenny and the Blue Hens will have another solid season. Delaware played in four matches, coming out of their round robin pool as the top team, and defeated George Washington from the opposite pool to win the tournament championship.
The team opened the round robin pool play against Patriot League foe Bucknell. The Blue Hens quickly disposed of the Bison 25-17 and 25-9, in the best of three set format.
They moved on to play CAA rival George Mason in their second contest, in what turned out to be one of the closest matches of the day. Delaware got by the Patriots 25-21 and 26-24.
Playing another CAA foe and the chance to come out of the pool as the winner, the Blue Hens faced Towson and again earned a sweep, 25-21 and 25-17.
Coming out of their pool play, the Blue Hens went to face Atlantic-10 foe George Washington for the overall championship. The Colonials took the first set, and the only set the Blue Hens would drop on the day, 24-26, but rallied back to take the final two sets and the championship, 25-10 and 15-10.
Delaware played without a quartet of seniors for the first time in four years, as Jess Chason, Katie Dennehy, Paige Erickson and Greta Gibboney helped bring three CAA Tournament Championships home to Newark in their four years.
Stepping into their place this spring has been a number of players. Junior Renee Tomko has taken over as the setter, efficiently spreading the offense over the four games this weekend. Freshman Karina Evans has continued her work in the middle after stepping into the starting role halfway through the season. She helped lead the defense this weekend, coming away with a team high in blocks.
Delaware has had back-to-back All-American candidates at the libero position with Steph Barry and Greta Gibboney, and now the baton has been passed to freshman Cara Rosehill (at right) to continue to fill the role. Offensively, sophomore starter Alissa Alker, freshman Katie Hank, and sophomore Logan Sebastian led the Blue Hens.
Coming off the bench for Kenny, and seeing playing time against another opponent for the first time, were Kori Reigel and Rachel Oemcke. Kenny had high thoughts on the two freshmen that stepped in and helped the team to the championship this weekend. Chelsea Lawrence also helped out the blocking and held down the fort at the net in the middle.
Kenny and the Blue Hens will also welcome three more student athletes to the roster in fall, as all three have signed letters of intent to join the University of Delaware storied volleyball program.
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