LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – Coming off a program-best 22-6 record and a second-place finish in conference play in 2006, Farmingdale State College has been selected as the Skyline Conference preseason favorite in women’s volleyball as selected by the league’s head coaches.
The 2006 campaign was a breakthrough season for the Rams who went 22-6 overall and 7-1 in Skyline Conference play. In his first season as head coach at Farmingdale State, Tom Gordon guided the Rams to a 13-win improvement from the previous season (9-17, 3-5 Skyline) and a berth in the conference championship match. For his efforts, Gordon was selected Skyline Coach of the Year by his peers.
Farmingdale State lost a pair of All-Skyline performers from last season in seniors Falon Taddeo and Gina Moscato, but junior Cathryn McLean, an All-Skyline First Team selection returns to lead the Rams.
Farmingdale’s top rival, Old Westbury, has been picked second in the poll. The Panthers have enjoyed a steady rise in the conference standings over the last two years under head coach Marjahna Segers. Old Westbury, which has set a school record for wins each of the last two seasons, qualified for the Skyline Conference tournament for the first time in 2005. The Panthers lost a pair of all-conference players in seniors Jennifer Ragone and Jennifer Hoyt last year, but a senior-laden squad, led by former All-Skyline selection Whitney Alexander, looks to challenge the top teams in the conference.
St. Joseph’s College and Russell Sage College were picked third and fourth respectively. St. Joseph’s has qualified for the Skyline Conference tournament each of the last five seasons – the longest run of any Skyline team. A former Division III independent, Russell Sage joins the conference after compiling a 17-15 mark against a strong schedule. The Gators must replace career kills leader C.J. Ostrowski, but a strong nucleus returns led by junior setter Kaitlin Olmstead.
1. Farmingdale State (7) 77
2. Old Westbury (1) 71
3. St. Joseph’s-L.I. (1) 63
4. Russell Sage (1) 62
5. Mount Saint Vincent 47
6. Mount Saint Mary 41
7. Polytechnic 38
8. Bard 24
9. Maritime 15
10. Purchase 12
(first-place votes in parentheses)