June 29, 2004
Step Up! This is what fifth-year Head Coach Tim Byram and the 2004 season schedule are demanding of the returnees. Coming off the 2003 season where they gained valuable experience against the top Division III teams in New England, it is time for the returnees to step up and prove they can win big games at that level.
Coach Byram's first recruiting class to enter its fourth season is going to have to use the leadership skills and experience they have gained over the last three seasons to help lead a talented incoming class to post-season play and a CCC banner.
With so many returning starters, (including 2003 CCC All-Conference team members Patty Mikan, Killeen Ross and Sara Moore) pre-season will be more focused on team building rather than individual skills and the Gulls should shine early. Part of the team building will be the program's first out-of-region trip, as they fly off to Chicago, IL for five days to participate in a match at Aurora University and the Dominican University Invitational. Other participants at the Invitational include Wheaton College (IL) and the University of Chicago.
This year's schedule includes several teams, which are traditionally at the top of the New England Polls and usually make an appearance on the National Polls. In addition to individual matches with \#3 MIT and \#8 Plymouth state, the Gulls will also be competing in both the Springfield Invitational and the Brandeis Invitational in October to prepare for the CCC Championships.
I am very excited about both the team we are going to put on the court this fall and the possibilities of what they are going to be able to achieve as a group. With a strong group of returners and a talented incoming class it should be a great season!
Head Coach - Tim Byram
As was the case in the 2003 season, there will again be plenty of competition for court time in 2004. This will push the team to work and be ready to return from Illinois to a very tough regional schedule. Krystan Sylva has been a levelheaded experienced player for the Gulls and they will continue to look to her for leadership as she returns for graduate school and her final year of eligibility. Seniors and 2003 starters that are expected to be leading the way for the Gulls are setter Kristen Altieri, libero Katie Lorinovich and middle blocker Susan Teta. Morgan Tranquist, a player that has moved from middle to right side, will look to compete with the other big hitters and blockers and could make an impact from anywhere on the court.
The junior class has been making an impact since their freshman year and Mikan will look to continue to provide offense and tough serving, while Ross will continue to anchor the team serve receive and defense.
Moore stepped up after overcoming an early season injury had a terrific freshman campaign. In addition to setting a new school record for blocks in a season she also led the team in hitting % and was second in kills. The Gulls will be looking to Moore to make even more of an impact in her classmate Meghan Stevens is hoping to compete for the opposite position this fall and fellow sophomore Katelyn Smith will be challenging a deep defensive lineup for time.
The incoming class is highlighted by the addition of freshman Meghan Hall (Corralitos, CA) to the program. Hall's quickness and experience at the setting position could have her challenging for time early in her career. She is coming from an extremely successful Aptos HS program where she was a three-year captain for the team. Other freshmen looking to make an impact include Kim Marschner and Rosa Amorim.
"Step Up!" demands both the schedule and the coaches. "Step-Up", its time for the upper classmen to take control and for the underclassmen to turn the pressure on for playtime from the returnees. Its time to "Step-Up" and bring home a CCC Championship...and its time to "Step-Up" and show New England (and Illinois) what the Gulls are capable of.