BUZZARDS BAY, Mass – With a week remaining until fall classes begin on Taylor's Point, head volleyball coach Jenna-Lynn Geary and her team are in the gym preparing for the 2019 season. In 2018, the team finished 2-19 overall, 1-6 in MASCAC play, one win out of the conference playoffs. The Buccaneers have been picked to finish 8th in the MACAC preseason poll which was released this week.
Coach Geary welcomes back six players from the 2018 squad, including her three captains. Seniors Marie Harrison (Weymouth, Mass), Christina Ruggeri (Bourne, Mass), and Michelle Sheehan (Attleboro, Mass) will serve as the team's captains while Bianca Andronic (Somerset, Mass) returns for her second season, Madison Coughlin (Monroe, Conn) is back for her junior season, and Meghan Sullivan (Hanover, Mass) enters her senior season. The Buccaneers welcome in a number of new players to add depth for the 2019 season.
"I am excited to welcome back our captains and returners." Said Coach Geary. "Our captains show great leadership on and off the court and will be the pulse of our team. All six of our returners will be positive influences on our incoming players."
Last season, then junior, libero Tina Ruggeri reached a milestone that has not been reached before in program history when she recorded her 1,000th dig on her career. Ruggeri played in every set of every match in 2019 recording a team high 311 digs and 30 service aces. She was second on the team in assists with 12. Marie Harrison played in every set in 2018 led the Bucs in kills with 133 putting her at 461 for her career, nine kills short of the program record. Harrison added eight assists, 19 services aces, second on the team, and 219 digs, also second on the team. She scored a team high 156.5 points in 2018. Michelle Sheehan, who also played in every set of every match in 2018, racked up 50 kills and a team leading 127 assists. Defensively, she had 139 digs, third on the team and scored 92 points for her team.
"We have a great foundation to build on in 2019. Our seniors have been our best players and are always wanting to improve their games to help the team. I am excited to see what they will do this season." Said Coach Geary.
The Buccaneer schedule for 2019 features a variety of opponents from the region including their seven match MASCAC schedule. The team will open their schedule with a tri-match against Anna Maria College and Becker College on the road at Anna Maria in Paxton, Mass on Saturday, September 7th. The team will play their home opener on Tuesday, September 10th against Mount Holyoke College at 7pm.
Following the home opener the Bucs will take to the road for the next two week with a road matchup with Curry College on September 12th. That will be followed by a trip to Kings Point, N.Y. to take part in the 10th Annual Maritime Classic against Merchant Marine, Maine Maritime and SUNY Maritime College on September 14th and 15th. Geary's squad opens conference play on September 17th on the road against Fitchburg State, the only conference team the Bucs beat in 2018, and will wrap up the long "road trip" with a tri-match at Suffolk University against the Rams and Castleton State.
On September 25th they welcome Curry College in to the Clean Harbors Athletic Center to complete the home and home with the Colonels at 7pm. That will be followed by a tri-match against MASCAC opponent MCLA and a non-conference match against Amherst College, who finished 22-5 in 2018, in North Adams, Mass. A matchup with the Dean College Bulldogs at home on September 30th at 7pm closes out the September portion of the schedule.
October opens with a pair of home matches against Framingham State in Conference on Wednesday, October 2nd, and Nichols College on Homecoming weekend, Saturday the 5th at 5pm. A non-conference matchup with Lesley on the road on October 8th precedes a run of three conference matches against Salem State on the road, Worcester State at home on October 19th at 5pm, and Bridgewater State on the road. October finished with non-conference meetings against Dean College on the road, to close a home and home with the Bulldogs, and Geary's alma mater Lasell University at home on the 30th at 7pm.
The Buccaneers close out the regular season schedule on Saturday, November 2nd against Westfield State at home on Senior Day.
For more information about the volleyball schedule, roster and coaching staff, visit mmabucs.com.