There is no lacking of local alent on the Fulton-Montgomery Community College women's volleyball team's roster this fall.
Although the players come from different high schools, there is a cohesiveness that coach Holly Livingston believes will lead to a successful season for the Lady Raiders.
"This year I have a great group of girls and our goal for this year is to go to regionals and play strong all season long," she said. "We have worked hard conditioning and practicing. Many of our girls have played together on the Caroga Lake Volleyball Club [coached by the late Jim Gabeler and Paul Putman] creating that cohesiveness that many teams lack. We will use this to our advantage."
Returning from the 2011 squad are sophomores Nicole MacGregor (Johnstown) and Kate Nelson (Mekeel Christian Academy).
They are joined by sophomore Tristen Satterlee (Gloversville), freshmen Gabby Hale (Johnstown), Shelby Lyons (Johnstown), Caitlin Hayward (Johnstown) and Kaylee Gillen (Johnstown), Allana Clough (Fonda-Fultonville) and Sara Wyzomirski (Fonda-Fultonville), Emily Robinson (Edinburg) and Tessa Reed (Broadalbin-Perth).
The Lady Raiders finished second in their conference in 2011 and received National Junior College Athletic Association All Academic honors for having a team average of 3.0 or higher.
FMCC Volleyball Schedule
Sept. 8at Alfred (pod)TBA
Sept. 13ADIRONDACK6 p.m.
Sept. 15 at Niagara (pod)TBA
Sept. 19HUDSON VALLEY6 p.m.
Sept. 16NORTH COUNTRY3 p.m.
Sept. 22at Adirondack (pod)TBA
Sept. 26 at SUNY?Delhi6 p.m.
Oct. 3at Columbia-Greene6 p.m.
Oct. 10at Mohawk Valley6 p.m.
Oct. 13at SUNY?Delhi?(pod)TBA
Oct. 17at Herkimer6 p.m.
Oct. 20MOUNTAIN?VALLEY?CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT?(at FMCC) TBA
"We also had three of our girls receive NJCAA Academic All American awards for having an overall average of a 3.0 or higher," Livingston said. "Those three girls were Ali Crankshaw (Johnstown), Cassi Brancato (Mayfield) and Yau HoYi (Hong Kong). We are very proud of all our athletes."
Also last season, the volleyball teams had to adjust to the revamped scheduling of POD play that provided more consistency in scheduling and accuracy in seeding for regionals.
"POD play was difficult because you play three matches in one day," Livingston said. "At the college level one match can last any where from 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours or more. This year we probably won't be done playing until 7 or 8 at night. It is a long day, but with the girls having a lot of tournament experience [because of being on the Caroga Lake Volleyball Club] they will be well-adjusted."
Adjusting to college-level play quickly will be key for the FMCC squad this season, but Livingston is confident her team can make the adjustment.
"We have not had a scrimmage but I feel we will have a strong defense," she said. "This year's team is well rounded and we have a lot of talent. I really believe in this team and they play to win. I know that they love the game and they are all heart."