ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Rockford University women's volleyball team is entering its third season under head coach Jennifer Saylor and is extremely excited for the upcoming season. The team appears poised take another giant leap forward thanks in part to a solid group of eight returners and a talented crop of newcomers.
- Rockford will rely heavily on its group of returners for both experience and veteran leadership on and off the court. Amongst the returners are juniors Jennifer Quintas, McCathran Andrew and Amelia Rehberg and sophomores Nicole Eggers, Paige Carpenter, Della Crain, Alyssa Ashford and Casey Sheetz.
- Crain returns as the team's leading attacker with 177 kills. She was also second on the team last year with 29 total blocks.
- Quintas enters her junior year as one of the team's top defenders from a season ago, tallying a team-high 287 digs.
- Sheetz returns after handling Rockford's primary setting duties in 2018, leading the team with 558 assists.
- The Regents will also look for their solid incoming class to contribute and make an immediate impact. Within that group are freshmen Mackenzie Blizniak, Jacey Wilson, Alicia Puente and Jessica Witkowski.
- Blizniak joins the Regents after being named an Athletic All-American all four years in high school and MVP her senior year.
- Wilson enters her collegiate career following excellent junior and senior seasons. She earned First Team Big 10 All-Conference honors both years and was selected to both the Noble All-Tournament Team and Big 10 All-Tournament Team in her senior year.
- Puente comes to Rockford following a stellar senior season where she was named First Team All-Super Conference.
- Witkowski joins the Regents after being selected All-Super Conference in both her junior and senior seasons.
"We have worked hard on developing our team culture and leadership the past two years, and it has created a great team atmosphere," Coach Saylor stated. "This year since we have a larger returning class and a talented incoming class, our team is more competitive and understands what it will take to win matches. The newcomers have done a great job of stepping in and becoming an integral part of our team, while our returners are doing a great job of leading and teaching. All of this will contribute to a much higher level of success, and after seeing our growth during the preseason, the coaching staff believes that our young team has a lot of potential to make strides forward."
The Rockford University women's volleyball team opens its season on Friday, August 30 with a pair of matches at the Illinois College Volleyball Tournament. The Regents begin at 6:00 PM against Simpson College, followed by an 8:00 PM match against Illinois College. Rockford's first home match of the season is on Tuesday, September 3 against Beloit College. That match has a scheduled start time of 7:00 PM in the Seaver Center.