RENEWED OPTIMISM SURROUNDS WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL AS THEY DEBUT SEASON TONIGHT

The College of Staten Island women’s volleyball team will be the last fall sports team off of the lot this September, ushering in its season on Thursday, September 8, against Farmingdale State.  When they do, it will be filled with renewed enthusiasm, as the Dolphins will be looking to build on an eight-win season under new Head Coach Jason Madsen and a strong nucleus of returning talent.
 
“I’m excited,” the new coach said.  “It’s a new opportunity, a new place, new student-athletes.  I’m excited to see how the players adopt the philosophies and progress on the court.  Our preseason is over and I’ve already seen a lot of improvement and I think they do too so it’s an exciting time for all of us.” 
 
Although Madsen’s hire came just a handful of weeks before the season, Madsen is excited at the potential that his upperclassmen leaders hold.  His two seniors, Victoria Wong, who doubles as the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President, and Siobhan Granich, provide powerful play and impeccable leadership, while junior Vanessa Reyes is a highly-experienced junior.  What follows is a collection of sophomores and a junior that have had plenty of room to grow, and according to Madsen, CSI’s best volleyball is still very much ahead of it.
 
“Our two seniors with Vanessa are definitely our vocal leaders and bring a lot of energy to the game,” Madsen said.  “Based on what I have seen so far they will lead us to where we want to go.  They have a strong desire to compete and be successful.  Their energy and attitude are a big reason why we will be successful this season.” 
 
Combining to the mix in time for Madsen’s inaugural campaign is also a handful of incoming talent that is sure to shine and early.  Freshman standout Caitlin Esposito is expected to hit the ground running nas a strong middle presence, while sophomore transfer Cassidy Iannariello led CCNY in assists last year and Angelica Paulino has shined on the practice floor.  As a collection, Madsen is high on all of his new faces, and feels they will make CSI better from top to bottom.
“I’m seeing a lot of improvement.  We will work to get stronger, but I’ve been very impressed with our ball control,” said the new skipper.  “The best part is that we have an incoming group that is really into it.  They are all fired up and that has me excited as well.  I think we will see a lot of improvement as the year goes on.”
 
Madsen is not big on guarantees or predictions, but he likes to think his team could be an immediate contender.  If he has his way look for the unit to adopt a defensive style of volleyball one that is intent on playing one point at a time and is committed to getting better with each game, avoiding the normal peaks and valleys of a season in return for a steady upward progression.  If successful, CSI could be on a fast track to success.
 
“We have a young team and I am not naïve enough to think that we won’t make mistakes,” Madsen stated.  “But if we have short memories and break every set and every match to just one-point at a time we can improve our growth and set our sights higher and higher.”
 
The Dolphins will debut on Thursday, and will turn around right away for their first two CUNYAC matches on Saturday for a date at Lehman to face the Lightning and CCNY.  They score a Columbus Day trimatch of their own against Brooklyn and Medgar Evers in October, before bracing for the six-team CUNYAC Postseason Tournament in early-November.  Madsen hopes to be there and for the team to make some noise.
 
“We want to be there and we’d love to be a very high seed and get a home playoff game,” he said.  “I think that would be a great experience for our team.  Our ultimate goals, however, are to continue to trend upward and put a quality product out there on the court that we can be proud of.  If we can do that then we will see our best volleyball in mid to late October and that should be make for an exciting run at the end of the season.” 
 
Admission to all CSI home games are FREE and PG-CLUE Certified for students.  Many of CSI’s home contests will be live streamed on CSI SportsNet at http://www.csidolphins.com/CSISportsNet and all home games will feature live statistics at http://www.sidearmstats.com/csi/wvball.  Downloadable Wallpaper Schedules are available HERE.
 

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