Entering her second year at the helm, CCNY Women’s volleyball head coach Dalliana Toussaint could easily say that the upcoming 2015 campaign should be a “Finals-or-Bust” season. While reaching the CUNYAC finals is a goal for the team, even she knows that it’ll be a process.
“So far it’s actually looking pretty well,” Toussaint said before practice on Monday.
There seems to be a different vibe in the air around the women’s volleyball team this time around as they are getting ready for their first scrimmage of the year against Passaic County CC tomorrow night at home (7 p.m., Nat Holman Gym).
“We had a lot of walk-ons that showed me some great talent, so I’m actually excited,” she added. “We have some hitters, we have three setters that could actually bring our team together.
“I’m not nervous about this season. I’m actually excited.”
CCNY finished 11-24 overall last year with a 4-4 record in CUNYAC play as senior Leticia Marotti helped lead City to its first CUNYAC semifinals appearance since 2012. City was swept in three sets to top seed Hunter at Arc Arena on Nov. 7 (25-11, 25-13, 25-12).
The 11-win season marked the third straight year that CCNY’s women’s volleyball team finished with a double-digit win total.
With the senior trio of Marotti, Kathlen Dos Santos and Saye-Chantl Joseph, CCNY had somewhat of a strong year on the offensive side of the court. City was third in the conference in hitting percentage (.114), third in assists (6.94/set) and third in kills (8.06/set). Marotti placed in the top 10 in four of the six categories.
However there are no dominant seniors on this year’s squad, a factor that could prove as an advantage for the Lady Beavers as far as team cohesion goes.
“I think that last year we could’ve gotten far, but attitude wise, everybody was kind of an individual,” junior Vera Quispe explained. “But this year we’re more united and we have a really good connection, so I think that’s going to be a difference.
“Last year was a bit more intense because the seniors were expecting a lot more. But I think this year we actually know our weaknesses and our strengths and we help each other. It’s a good vibe right now.”
The Lady Beavers have a good chance to get on track right out of the gate this season with six of their first 10 matches at home starting with the season opener against Yeshiva University on Sept. 1. Although Toussaint has hinted at expecting a possible slow start with an overall younger team this year, she’s confident that they’ll be ready once conference play starts on Sept. 12.
“We may have a slow start,” she explained. “The first game is going to be figuring out who works well where. Whether we win or lose the first match, that will be a practice for us.
“We’ll be ready by the first multi-match – definitely.”