The College of Staten Island women’s volleyball team officially serves up its 2017 campaign tonight, taking to the road for a 6pm tilt with FDU-Florham.  The Dolphins are guided by first-year Head Coach Lak Wai (Larry) Ng, and take on a Devils team coached by Jason Madsen, who was the Dolphins’ head coach just a year ago.  It’s the season-opener for both teams.


Matchup:  CSI (0-0) vs. FDU-Florham (0-0)
Where: FDU – Florham – Madison, NJ
All-Time Series:  FDU leads, 1-0
Last Year’s Result:  FDU won 3-0 (25-19, 25-9, 25-10)
Players to Watch (CSI):  The Dolphins lost key contributors Victoria Wong and Siobhan Granich from last year’s side, but bring back a strong nucleus, led by leading offensive threat Vanessa Reyes, who returns the most kills and attacks from a year ago.  Fellow senior Jessica Cafiero is a setter who will look to distribute after her most productive season.  Four sophomores will look to have major impacts after solid freshman years.  Caitlin Esposito missed a host of time last year dur to injury and will look to be a fixture at the front of the net.  The same is true for two-sport star Ashley Notaro, who missed all of last season after a quality 2015 campaign.  Alexandria Boachie-Ansah and KAthryn Adams will also look to build on quality first years.
Players to Watch (FDU): Four seniors anchor the Devils led by Melissa Gaffney, who led Devils’ returners with 243 kills and a .228 attack percentage.  Fellow senior Rachel Catena posted 632 digs last year, a heavy 5.84 per set.  Junior Lauren Harris led all Devils with 303 kills a year ago and was just as potent on the back line, where she posted 381 digs, good for second on the squad.  
News and Notes:  This is the second meeting between the two schools in their history.  FDU is coming off a solid 17-15 campaign in 2016, advancing to the second round of the ECAC Championships.   FDU’s season included a straight-set win over CSI in Madison, NJ.  Former coach Jason Madsen, now with FDU, led the Dolphins to a 7-20 season a year ago in what was a rebuilding season.  The Dolphins are now under their fourth coach in five years and are looking for both stability and common ground in 2017.  After tonight’s contest, CSI will be idle until September 5 when they travel to NJCU.  The Dolphins will not enjoy their home court until September 14, when they host Hunter College at the Sports & Recreation Center at 7pm.  The Dolphins have won just one season opener since 2001.