October 6, 2015
By Marty Carlino
On the heels of a successful 2014 season, the Dominican University Women’s Volleyball Team has started 2015 strong. Last season, the Stars’ record was 24-12, including a perfect 11-0 NACC conference mark. Following the 2014 regular season, the Stars went on to win the NACC conference tournament and appeared in the NCAA Division III tournament for the fourth time in five seasons.
The Stars have picked up right where they left off last season, opening the 2015 season with a 12-6 record as they begin conference play. The Stars have faced a number of tough tests early on this season, as they have already squared off with six ranked opponents.
“We are probably finishing up the toughest stretch in our schedule, which is one of the toughest schedules out of anyone in the country,” said the Stars Head Coach, Jeanne Czipri. “We’ve played a lot of ranked, tough teams and we’re 12-6 going into conference play. I feel really good about that.”
After opening the season with a tightly-contested, four set defeat, the Stars commenced an eight-game winning streak, which saw them defeat two ranked opponents. The Stars also entered the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III top 25 poll, joining the rankings as the 25th ranked team.
The team fell short against some tough ranked teams but bounced back to defeat the 11th ranked University of Chicago Maroons. The Stars will now begin its defense of their 2014 NACC conference title.
“We’re trying to defend our undefeated regular season in conference and I think we’re very capable of that,” Czipri added. “Our goal is to win conference again, win the tournament again and get into the NCAA tournament and win that first round for the first time.”
The Stars were tabbed to top the conference again, according to the 2015 NACC conference preseason poll. They totaled 17 of the possible 24 first place votes in the poll. However, the Stars will have to fight off some lingering injuries after their tough early season stretch.
“Right now, some of the biggest challenges we have are injuries and health,” said Czipri. “We got pretty beat up over the last two weeks with this tough stretch and a lot of our starters have played a lot of volleyball. Getting healthy as best as we can is going to be important for us.”
The Stars will look to stay sharp as their next 7 matches all come against NACC opponents.