Women’s volleyball season preview

The Chapman women’s volleyball team will open up its season in the Pacific Coast Classic hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, beginning Aug. 29.

The Panthers turned in a solid campaign in the 2013 season, despite it being their worst since 2009. A 10-6 conference record and a 17-12 overall record was good enough to earn them a tie for fourth place in the SCIAC (Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) during the regular season.

Chapman was able to advance to the semifinals of the SCIAC tournament before, falling to top-seeded California Lutheran in straight sets.

“I think every team needs to come in with the same expectation that they are going to win the SCIAC championship,” said junior outside-hitter Nicole Moy. “And for us, the taste of it last year has us wanting more.”

Moy finished last season with 54 kills.

The Panthers will again turn to senior middle-blocker Val Geiger as their leader. Geiger, who is a two time American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American, put together the most impressive offensive campaign in school history last season, leading the conference and setting a Chapman record with 489 kills and a .366 hitting percentage in 28 matches (109 sets).

Geiger’s main focus heading into the upcoming season is the rehabilitation of her knee and foot, both of which she had surgery on in the offseason.

“I’ve been doing a lot of rehab and training. I expect to be fully recovered by season, coming in swinging,” Geiger said.

The senior is just 75 kills away from 1,000 in her career.

Chapman will be losing four seniors from the 2013 season, including All-West Region honorable mention setter Corrine Ostrovsky, Chapman’s career leader in assists, 4,094 and matches played, 114.

“We did graduate several key players, and we are anxious to see how their spots will be filled. Regardless, I am confident that coach [head coach Mary Cahill] will put forward a great team,” Geiger said.

Along with Geiger and Moy, the Panthers will also return key players such as junior outside-hitter Michelle Hammer, sophomore outside-hitter Halle Erdahl, and senior setter Kat Marusich.

Hammer and Marusich were second and third on the team in kills respectively last season.

With the return of so many key players and the rich Chapman volleyball tradition, the expectations within the locker room will be very high.

“Personally I want to continue the Chapman women’s volleyball tradition of being a tight-knit team who knows how to win and have fun while doing it,” Moy said.

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