With any program undergoing a big change, it is expected that any team will need time to adjust, making this year’s downtime between spring and fall that much more crucial. Over the summer, our Fairfield University Women’s Volleyball team will be following a training regimen set by Fairfield Athletics trainer Mike Harris.
“It will be a lot of plyometrics along with some lifts to keep the strength in our legs,” Libero Noelle Carey ‘24 explains. “He wants to make sure that all of our hard work this past spring doesn’t go down the sewer.”
If there is anything that this past season teaches us, it’s that our talented Stags are full of grit and determination and will face every challenge head-on.
The Fairfield University women’s volleyball team is undoubtedly one of the strongest teams in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. In their most recent 2022 season, they finished with a stellar overall record of 25-7 and a conference record of 17-1, which resulted in clinching the regular season title for the fourth straight year in a row.
At the MAAC Championship tournament in Lake Buena Vista Fla., the Stags put up a strong showing, winning two of the three matchups against Niagara University and Siena College three sets to one, just missing out on the 2022 title and a ticket to the first round of the NCAA Tournament with a 1-3 set loss against Quinnipiac University.
Carey thought back on the end of last season.
“I think we definitely could have and should have won the MAAC. We worked extremely hard throughout the season and it was very disappointing not making it to the first round of the NCAA tournament,” Carey elaborates.
The end of the season also saw a change in the coaching staff, as it was announced that Todd Kress would be stepping down from his position as head coach to take up the same role at San Jose State University in San Jose, Calif. On March 20, it was announced that Nancy Somera, who most recently was the head coach for Johnson and Wales University, will be taking over the program.
Paul Schlickmann, Vice President for Athletics, said in a statement that “I am confident that Coach Somera will continue to build upon the great tradition and success synonymous with Fairfield Volleyball.”
Noelle Carey shared her thoughts on the new coach. “I love our new coach, I think she has a ton of volleyball and life knowledge,” Carey said. “She and our assistant coach [Brendan McGourn] really show how much they care for us as people and bettering the program.”
So far, the adjustment has been successful, as the team has made strong impressions at various invitational tournaments in and around Connecticut, playing and winning against teams such as the University of Connecticut, Yale University and Fordham University, with the Stags prevailing against UConn 2-1.
Both tournaments have shown to be opportunities for learning and growth for the Stags, as Carey stated that “Our first was definitely better than our second, but in our second we saw what we needed to fix in order to be better.”
As the academic year comes to an end and continuing players prepare to go and keep working hard over the summer, we wish them the best of luck with whatever challenges next season will bring.