Hamilton's first home match of 2012 will be against Ithaca College on Sept. 11, and 2011 NCAA quarterfinalist SUNY Cortland visits The Hill on Oct. 6. The season begins with four matches at the University of Rochester Invitational on Sept. 7 and 8.
Megan McCareins '14 leads the list of returners in 2012. McCareins ranked 10th in the NESCAC with 3.76 digs per set and 15th with 2.52 kills per set last year. She made the all-tournament team at the 2011 Victory Promotions Invitational. Cohen and Brenna Corrigan '14 are two more valuable contributors at outside hitter. Cohen finished with 131 kills and 146 digs, and Corrigan had 87 kills and 84 digs despite missing nearly half the season due to injury. Right-side hitter Erin Casey '15 ended up third on the team with 60 blocks and added 59 kills.
Martella is back to anchor the middle. The 6-foot Martella tied for sixth place in the NESCAC with .89 blocks per set (96 total), and added 133 kills and a team-high 35 aces. She made the 2011 Hartwick College Invitational all-tournament team.
Sarah Pfund '14 and Emma Lonadier '15 will set up the offensive attack. Pfund recorded 330 assists and 190 digs, and was named to the NESCAC all-sportsmanship team last year. Lonadier played the first four matches before she suffered an injury, but left quite an impression. In one weekend, she racked up 91 assists, 13 kills, 10 aces, 42 digs and seven blocks.
The graduation of Rachel Irizarry '12 leaves a hole in the defense as she ended up fifth in digs and fourth in aces on the program's all-time lists. Brown is a leading candidate to fill Irizarry's shoes as she ranked sixth in the NESCAC with 4.42 digs per set last year. Emily Rosen '15 (74 digs) provides depth at libero/defensive specialist.
Hamilton has a rich volleyball tradition that dates back to 1985, when the program achieved varsity status. From 1985 to 1996, the Continentals won 20 or more matches in a season nine times and had just one losing record. Hamilton played in five New York State Women's Collegiate Athletic Association tournaments during that time. The Continentals enjoyed the best season in program history in 1996. Hamilton boasted a record of 21-7, played in the Eastern College Athletic Conference championship and finished the season ranked ninth in the state. The Continentals' winning percentage of .750 that season stands as their best ever.
Outstanding academic performance is another important part of this program. McCareins and Pfund made the 2011 NESCAC fall all-academic team. Each honoree has a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.35 and must have reached sophomore academic standing at her institution. Hamilton was honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association with the AVCA Team Academic Award for the second time in three seasons in 2010-11. A 3.30 cumulative team grade point average on a 4.0 scale needs to be maintained at the close of the school year for a program to be eligible for the award.