Boston, MA- The Women's Volleyball team is set to kick off their third season in existence when they take on the Lesley University Lynx this Friday at 6pm. The Lady Falcons are coming off their best season, finishing with 17 wins in the 2018 campaign and a first-ever NIAC Championship. In two years the team has compiled an impressive 28-19 record, and second-year Coach Will Lau looks to increase the win total from last year. "We expect to replicate our last two season's success, with a goal to win 20+ matches," said Coach Lau. "The hope is to get a first-ever playoff bid to the Association of Independent Institutions (AII) Conference tournament."
The team will have a lot of shoes to fill, losing all but one starter from a year ago. Coach Lau will look to junior captain, Lia Aime (Las Piedras, PR), to take the reigns from last year's captain and AII All-Conference player, Natie Manalo. Lia will assume the role of the libero this season, a position the Falcons did not utilize in its first two years. The junior captain had strong statistics in her sophomore campaign, finishing second on the team in assists (333) and digs (234). Coach Lau has confidence that Lia will continue to have a strong stat sheet, but will also acclimate the incoming players to the Fisher Athletics mission. The only other returner for the Falcons is senior Cynthia Huerta (Salinas, CA). She was unable to play in 2018, but is excited to get back on the floor in her senior year. In 2017, Huerta led the team in kills (277), kills per game (4.69) and blocks (9) and was second on the squad in digs (218). The outside hitter looks to assist Aime in the leadership role as well with her very commanding presence on the floor.
Filling out the court, the Falcons welcome two transfer sophomores this season, to go along with five incoming freshmen. Sophomores Kiarra Pouncy (Daleville, AL), and Natalia Sofia Ortiz Arce (Humacao, PR), transferred from Pine Manor College and Newbury College, respectively. Both had roles on their former teams and will look to contribute on the floor this season as well. Pouncy finished with 22 kills and 58 digs in her freshman campaign with the Gators and looks to increase those totals as a Falcon.
Charisse Lazu (Trujillo Alto, PR), Maria Mziouak (Casablanca, Morocco), Erica Nunez (Dorchester, MA), Katherine Rodriguez (Fajardo, PR) and Emma Soubosky (Leominster, MA) round out the squad as the newest freshmen class in the Falcons volleyball program. Lazu is a middle hitter who Coach Lau expects to see a lot of time on the court this season. Mziouak is a defensive specialist who brings a very positive attitude and spirit to the team. Nunez is an outside and right hitter who brings some height to the front of the net for the Falcons. Coach Lau hopes her height will build up her block numbers this season. Rodriguez is a natural setter who be looking to replace Manalo in that role, but who Coach Lau feels will do well setting up the offense. Lastly, is outside/middle hitter Soubosky who is one of just two local players for the Falcons, as five of the nine Falcons hail from outside of the continental US.
Coach Lau's squad will start their season against Lesley University, an opponent they are quite familiar with as the two teams faced each other three times in 2018. The Falcons went 3-0 over those three matches and will look to continue the winning streak as they face off against the Lynx on Friday at 6pm. The strength of schedule has improved this season as well as the Falcons have added numerous tournaments to the card, including a tri-match at Eastern Nazarene, a tri-match at Becker College, and a four-team tournament at Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) in October. The majority of the teams the Falcons will face are NCAA Div III teams so they will be great tests for the team in September. They will also take on conference foe, Washington Adventist, who will be looking to avenge a tight match last season, in their only AII matchup. Fisher will open up at home with a double header against Lesley on September 29th at the Winsor School.
For a complete look at the schedule, click here.