Aug. 22, 2005
Providence, RI - Progressive development, that's been the story of the last couple seasons for the Brown Volleyball team. Last year's squad was extremely competitive, beating two of the four Ivy champions. A little bit of inexperience and a lot of injuries, kept the wins from piling up as they might have. A healthier, more experienced, and deeper Bears' squad comes into 2005 looking to prove that they have what it takes to win.
Senior tri-captain Lauren Gibbs (Los Angeles, CA) is expected to spearhead a strong attack. Gibbs is coming off a career-best season in which she averaged about 4.0 kills/game in the Ivy League, and was again a dominant blocker from her right-side position, earning All-Ivy honors. She needs just 215 more kills to reach the 1000 milestone.
On the outside, junior Rikki Baldwin (Magnolia, TX) and tri-captain senior Shawn Tulac (Claremont, CA) were both severely hampered by injuries in 2004, but are expected to come back strong. Sophomore Katie Lapinski (Niles, IL), who started most of last year, but is also coming back from a major injury, and classmate Lizzie Laundy (Evanston, IL), are both in the mix on the outside as well. They are joined by freshmen Lillie Cohn (Seattle, WA) and Lyndse Yess (Eugene, OR), both of whom can play either outside or right side.
While the middle blocker position lacks depth, sophomore Julie Mandolini-Trummell (Crystal Lake, IL) is coming off a very solid freshman campaign, where she lead the Bears in hitting percentage and blocks for the season. Mandolini-Trummel is expected to be even stronger in 2005, both blocking and hitting. Junior Jessica Kondrick (San Diego, CA) saw limited action in 2004, but is expected to step up as a starter this year. Emilie Aries (South Windsor, CT) is the third member of the middle trio, and will have an impact on the playing time distribution.
Senior setter Leigh Martin (Freelton, ONT), a two-year captain, has been a starter for three years. Already making a mark throughout the Brown record book, Martin will be looking to become the all-time leader in career assists, only needing 773 assists to pass Corre Myer ('02) for the all-time record. Sophomore Alanna McDonald (Seattle, WA) saw spot duty last season, and will be looking to get more court time this year. Freshman Natalie Meyers (Huntington, CA) provides the coaching staff with an additional set of options, both in terms of setting and defense.
In terms of defense, the Bears face the challenge of replacing graduates Elvina Kung and Tanya Rinderknecht, who anchored the back row last year and were both consummate team players. Several players will be competing to fill the void. They include junior Victoria Kasten (Norwalk, OH), sophomore Rachel Lipman (San Diego, CA), and freshmen Sheridan Brett (Spokane, WA) and Providence, RI native Jenny McManus.
The team's depth will come in handy, with a challenging schedule this season.