Albany, N.Y. - The University at Albany volleyball team is ready to get the 2012 season started, and will do so by heading to Hawaii for the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational next weekend. The Great Danes have been practicing for the last week, preparing to start the season.
UAlbany, which won its sixth America East Conference Championship title last season, will be looking to replace some of its best-ever players. The Great Danes graduated Laurie Gonzalez, an Honarable Mention All-American and four-time Defensive Specialist of the Year; Brooke Stanley, a three-time Setter of the Year; and Casey Wright, who was ninth in the nation a year ago, and led the league in hitting percentage for three straight seasons.
However, the UAlbany brings back seniors Traci Vandegrift, Gabby Whitworth and Dunja Prgomet, all of whom have increased their contributions to the program throughout their four-year careers. The Great Danes will also look to sophomore Samantha Brostrom, who was an all-rookie team member last season, after finishing second on the team with 2.78 kills per set. Brostrom is one of the best all-around players for the Great Danes, as she also averaged 2.11 digs per set.
UAlbany also brings in seven newcomers, with five freshmen and two transfers.The Great Danes will continue to work with the fresh faces to replace Stanley, a setter, and Gonzalez, the program's all-time digs leader.
UAlbany will start the 2012 season on Friday, Aug. 24 against host Hawaii, and will also face off against Stanford and St. Mary's while in Honolulu.