The women's volleyball program at Penn State Greater Allegheny is ready for big things in 2014. Coach Gibbs is ready to prove her program's growth with this upcoming season. "We have a talented squad this year", said Gibbs. "The Lady Lions are clicking well together and they all have their eyes set on the same goals."
After their second consecutive appearance with the PSUAC Elite Eight playoff games last year, the team this year has their eyes set on the PSUAC Finals and the USCAA Championship Tournament. The group welcomes five new freshman and four returning upperclassmen including two seasoned middle hitters who are in their senior year.
Sophomore setter Adrielle Brisbon (Fort Washington, Md./Friendly) and sophomore outside hitter Bianna Audette (Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville) return for their second season with Greater Allegheny. The group will feed off of Adrielle's hustle, determination and focus. Audette is taking on a new role this year as an outside hitter. "We capitalized on Brianna's passing skills last season but with the talent of our new squad, she can have a six-rotation presence."
Brianna is also one of the Penn State Greater Allegheny captains. "Brianna's attitude is uncompromising. She knows how to vocally lead the team no matter what the circumstances on the court." Senior middle hitter Alyssa Finocchi (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) and senior middle hitter Christina Floyd (Philadelphia, Pa./Sts. Neumann-Goretti) join Audette as captains of the 2014-15 squad. "The experience and drive these two ladies have will be a huge asset to this
Finocchi maintains her power position as a middle hitter, as she finished the most recent Greater Allegheny volleyball campaign with 225 kills, 12 assists, 39 aces, 209 digs and 70 blocks. Another 6-rotation player, Alyssa is a strong and undeniable force on the court. Standing tall at 5-11, Floyd is ready to run the defense at the net. Christina finished her 2013-14 season with 100 kills on 321 total attempts, 25 service aces, 113 digs, 63 total blocks and 10 assists. The returning four were all huge contributors to the success of the 2013 campaign.
Freshman right side Laura Vazquez (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Cupey Maria Montessori) will power-up the offense as an outside hitter. Freshman Emily Taylor (Aliquippa, Pa./Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter) will be swinging on the right side as she will be a key defensive player with her strong-side blocks. Another 5-11 student-athlete, freshman middle hitter Cheyenne Boulware (Centreville, Va./Centreville) will enter the court as a middle hitter. FreshmanTori Johnston (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) will take charge of the back row as Libero and freshman Brezhana Reed (Buckingham, Va./Buckingham County) will help out the back row on defense.
Greater Allegheny opens the season this weekend as they travel to Penn State Beaver for the 2014 USCAA Tip-Off Tournament. GA looks to open 2014 play over Rochester College for a 5 p.m. start.