New faces, new leadership highlight HC volleyball program

Release Date:
August 27, 2007
The Office of Sports Information
(716) 649-7900 ext. 333

2007 season preview

HAMBURG, NY – New leadership takes over the Hilbert College women’s volleyball program this fall as first-year head coach Mary Boller-Easterbrook prepares to make her collegiate coaching debut for the Hawks. The Hawks new mentor will rely heavily on four returners as the 2007 squad will feature seven new players looking to improve upon last year’s 5-18 record.

2006 team Most Valuable Player Laura Stranc (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) returns for her senior year after leading the Hawks in assists (292) last fall. The AMCC’s runner-up in service aces (48) also finished her junior campaign with 109 kills - good enough for third best among last year’s team leaders. Stranc should start at the setter position again in 2007.

Boller-Easterbrook will rely on Kristy Gonciarz (Cheektowaga, NY/Maryvale) to solidify the middle blocker position after the 5’11 junior paced the Hawks with 33 total blocks last fall. Gonciarz averaged 1.86 kills per game while seeing action in all 71 of the Hawks games played last fall.

2006 kills leader Destyn Brown (Ithaca, NY/Ithaca) enters her sophomore year after a strong showing in 2006. Brown averaged a team best 2.07 kills per game while finishing second on the team in assists (134), while recording 108 digs as a freshman outside hitter.

Morgan Oag-Walker (Jamestown, NY/Cassadaga Valley) saw action in 18 matches last fall and was second on the team in digs (175). The sophomore outside hitter recorded 24 aces and is more solid contributor after her rookie season.

Erasing memories of last fall’s 1-8 mark in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) will also be important if the Hawks are to make their first ever appearance in the conference tournament come early November. “We certainly want to be more competitive in conference play”, stated Boller-Easterbrook. “Getting off to a good start will be important as will finding our identity”.

The Hawks will play their first home match on September 5th against D’Youville College after opening the 2007 season at the Spartans’ Nickel City Tourney on August 31st.

Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 1,100 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs and new Accelerated Degree Programs geared to adult learners.