Volleyball Set to Serve in 2013

CLU season preview

Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 5:51 pm

Cal Lutheran enters the season ranked No. 10 by the AVCA.


Credit: Tracy Maple Hi-res image

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) No. 10 Cal Lutheran returns a solid core of 11 student-athletes, including a pair of SCIAC Players of the Year and the 2012 SCIAC Freshman of the Year, while adding six freshman and one transfer for the 2013 Regals volleyball campaign.

Looking for their fourth consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) title, head coach Kellee Roesel enters her eighth year at the helm excited about the prospect of adding to her Cal Lutheran record 170 coaching victories.

“We are glad to be back in the gym every day with this group of talented players,” Roesel shared mid-way through training camp. “The potential is limitless and the maturity, leadership and off-season dedication will help us to jump right into competition in less than a week.”

Two of the players who have exhibited all three of those qualities are Kylie McLogan and Jackie Russell. Not only were they named the SCIAC Player of the Year in 2012 and 2011, respectively, they have garnered two American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America recognitions apiece while playing for the Violet and Gold.

A devastating hand injury early in the 2012 season left Russell on the sidelines, but she has fully recovered and is expected to return to the top form she left in last fall. Russell will add to her school record 3,735 assists as the primary setter for the Regals.

McLogan was a true leader last season, finishing the year with a CLU single-season record 471 kills as she guided the Regals to an appearance in the championship final of the 2012 NCAA Division III West Regionals. Additionally, she finished with 42 total blocks, 380 digs and 37 aces in her sophomore season.

Allie Eason stepped in and made an immediate impact as an outside hitter for Cal Lutheran earning her SCIAC Freshman of the Year honors. She finished second to McLogan with both 316 kills and 35 aces and was third in digs with 323.

The experience of that trio as well as the entire returning unit and the strong incoming class leave the Regals in a prime position to continue their successful output from the last three seasons that have produced SCIAC titles and NCAA Postseason appearances.

After a spring trip to the NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships, Lauren Rohach returns to the court for her final collegiate season. Her seemingly flawless transition to middle blocker last year paid dividends for the Regals as she recorded 252 kills and was second on the squad with 78 blocks, returning as the top blocker in 2013.

Rounding out the senior class is Hayley Tamagni who played in nine matches in 2012.

Also back after a stellar season a year ago is junior setter Jena Chavez who excelled in the role after Russell went down with her injury. Chavez tallied 1,116 assists, which was second in the league and is currently fifth in a single-season at CLU. Her 10.41 assists per set ranked her among the top 25 in the nation at the Division III level.

Kennedy Peters will play libero during her junior season after recording 277 digs with 29 service aces last fall. Junior right side Sarah Lowrey and junior outside hitter Hannah Orlandi will each vie for playing time this year.

Joining Eason for a second year at Cal Lutheran are sophomores Caitlin Fransen and Pua Mo’okini-Oliveira. Mo’okini-Oliveira played in all but three matches in her first collegiate season and recorded 124 kills with 40 digs and 27 assists. Fransen and Orlandi each finished with 39 kills last year.

The incoming class of seven is sure to give the returners a run for their money. Headlining the group is Pasadena City College transfer Lindsey Kuramoto. The freshman six-pack includes Monica Lundgren (Encinitas, Calif.), Nicky Lyon (Prescott, Az.), Hannah Nua (Saugus, Calif.), Sarah Pappas (Reno, Nv.), Dianna Rohrer (Chino, Calif.) and Nicki Tetherow (Goltea, Calif.).

“It is hard to say who will make the biggest impact coming into the season,” Roesel went on, “They all have a chance to compete for playing time and give us a lot of depth.”

Cal Lutheran opens the season on the road Friday, Aug. 30 at the Pacific Coast Classic when they face Whitworth (Wash.) at 12:15 p.m. and Benedictine at 4:30 p.m. at La Verne.

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