Washington, DC - The University of the District of Columbia Women's Volleyball program announces its 2011 season schedule. The Firebirds play a 33 game schedule, including 13 home and 20 away.
The regular season begins on September 2nd when UDC hosts a five team, two day tournament named the "Battle in the Nation's Capital." Tournament participants include Virginia State University, Elizabeth City State University, Goldey-Beacom College, and LeMoyne College.
The preseason consists of three contests against Delaware State, Howard University, and Northern Virginia Community College. The regular season schedule features many quality opponents, including East Coast Conference foe Dowling College, who is ranked 22nd nationally in the AVCA pre-season poll. The UDC Athletic Department joined the East Coast Conference (ECC) effective July 1, 2011, and this season marks the inaugural season for the Women's Volleyball program in the ECC.
The Firebirds are coming off a very successful 2010 season, recording a 20-8 record. They were ranked 2nd in Division II for Aces Per Set and finished ranked 5th in Hitting Percentage .263. The team returns three players who were ranked in the top 50 nationally among Division II schools for Aces Served Per Set: senior outside hitter Mirella Nunes (8th) (Business- Sao Paulo, Brazil), junior middle hitter Vanessa Garley (13th) (Business- Rio Rancho, New Mexico) and junior libero Grace Perilli (29th) (Economics-Lewisburg, West Virginia). Also returning is senior outside hitter Grace DeMichelis (Political Science- Aurora, Colorado).
Six newcomers have joined the squad, including freshman Sonas Angell (Biology- Oceanside, CA), freshman Amber Walls (Biology-Temple Hills, MD), freshman Kamene Rose (Sociology-Chula Vista, CA), freshman Basheerah Abdusshahid (Theatre-Washington, DC), junior Kelsey Boyd (Elementary Education-Regina, SK, Canada), and freshman Ariana Scott (Business- Lakewood, CA).
Head Women's Volleyball Coach Sheila Weaver, who is entering her third year at UDC, spoke of her expectations for the season, and said "We are excited to be new members of the East Coast Conference and look forward to the challenges ahead. We look forward to merging players from last year with the newcomers and explore new approaches to the game that will continue to enhance our program and continuing our winning tradition."