Women’s volleyball has had its fair share of success over the past five years and they expect to keep that success rolling this year. The Stags were selected as repeat champions in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Preseason Poll. This should come as no surprise to anyone who followed the women’s volleyball team as they won their eighth MAAC Championship in 2015.
Fairfield has 10 student-athletes returning from last year’s team. Most notably coming back are Skyler Day ‘18 and Megan O’Sullivan ‘17. Day earned MAAC Preseason Player of the Year honors and her stats show why. She led with 420 kills and sent home 3.59 finishers per set a year ago. Day also contributed 2.94 digs per frame resulting in a team-leading 18 double-doubles.
O’Sullivan was named to the Preseason All-MAAC team after a stellar junior campaign. She averaged 2.73 kills and was second in the MAAC with a .306 hitting percentage. O’Sullivan contributed on the defensive side as well with 0.93 blocks per set.
Two players to keep an eye out for are Manuela Nicolini ‘20 and Sydney Buckley ‘18. The duo should have a successful year piling up assists for the Stags, as well as increasing the team’s hitting percentage.
Head coach Todd Kress, the 2015 MAAC Coach of the Year, will surely have the Stags ready for another successful season.
The Stags have not gotten off to the start they would have liked to, as they have started the season 6-5. The Fairfield Invitational was this past weekend at Alumni Hall in which Sacred Heart, James Madison and Villanova visited town.
In their first game, the Stags lost 3-0 to Sacred Heart. Day had 10 kills and 9 digs, but a strong Pioneers attack ultimately outplayed the Stags. Fairfield quickly turned things around though, beating James Madison 3-1 in their second game.
Day and Sydney Williams ‘19 each posted double figures in kills, while Nicolini and Buckley combined for 49 assists between the two of them.
In the final match, Villanova outlasted Fairfield 3-0 to claim the top spot in the 2016 Fairfield Invitational. Junior Megan Theiller was named to the All-Tournament Team due to her fantastic play throughout the weekend.
The Stags will be back in action on Wednesday, Sept. 14 as they defend home court against the Red Storm of St. John’s. Fairfield looks to build momentum before the start of conference play when they visit St. Peter’s in Jersey City, New Jersey at 12 p.m.