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Skidmore Volleyball 2018 Season Preview

After landing in the Liberty League Tournament last season for the first time in six seasons, the Skidmore College volleyball team looks to take the next step in the 2018 season. The Thoroughbreds, led by head coach Hilda Arrechea, will kick off the season at Springfield, Mass. this weekend, facing Lawrence and Rhode Island College on Friday, and host Springfield and Endicott on Saturday. The Thoroughbreds return eight players from last season's team, with four incoming freshmen eager to join the Thoroughbred program. They add to a team that went 18-11 last season, the most wins since 2012. Leading the charge is American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American Caite Canfield. The senior led the team offensively and finished fifth in the Liberty League with 3.19 kills per set in 2017. By her side is fellow senior Bailey Hutchins and junior Katy Ehnstrom. Hutchins finished third in the league with 0.46 aces per set (49 total) while also adding 2.47 kills per set. Ehnstrom is one of the most accurate hitters in the Liberty League, leading the league with a .331 hitting percentage, adding 3.29 kills per set. She also showed up on the defensive end, adding a team-leading 77 blocks. Junior Sophia Hettler is also a mainstay on the starting line and sophomore Jenny Norcross and Nicole Rosner look to have increased chances to make an impact this season. Pacing the offense is Lauren Wolters. The junior led the team with 9.64 assists per set, just falling shy of the 1,000 assists mark for 2017. She also contributed 32 service aces and hit a respectable .240. Senior Allie Dillon will patrol the court as a libero and defensive specialist. Last season, Dillon led the team with 3.83 digs per set, while also adding 21 service aces on the offensive end. Newcomers Zoe Beals, Willa Blake, Lily Fitzgerald, and Lauren Kramer all hail from successful high school programs, and will help lead the team as it makes a push towards a Liberty League title. Liberty League play will prove to once again be a grind, as the league's seven teams will play a single-match round robin to determine postseason positioning. In a poll of the league's coaches released on Wednesday, the Thoroughbreds were picked to finish fourth in the league, earning 31 points, just behind Clarkson, Vassar, and unanimous league favorite Ithaca.

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