BOCA RATON, Fla.—Lynn University's volleyball team returns all six starters from last year's squad and will enter the 2012 season with expectations of a fifth NCAA Tournament bid.
In addition to returning all six starters, the Fighting Knights welcome back 11 of 13 letter winners plus three new faces.
The freshman trio of Shauna Shortal, Lydia West and Chelsea Hanson will add depth throughout the squad. Shortal, a 5-11 right side hitter, will join junior Angie Caple to help bolster the Lynn attack.
In the middle, West will combine with 2011 All-Sunshine StateConference middle blocker Brittany Brown, senior Brianna Cox and sophomore Elyse Fleck to keep the Blue & White's opponents attack at bay. And on the defensive side, Hanson joins a slew of liberos including, seniors Darian Weppner and Michelle Jordan and sophomore Nikki Haben.
Head coach Lynze Roos will have the difficult decision of deciding which one of her talented setters will run the Fighting Knights'offense in 2012 as senior and last year's MVP Abbey Brokop and junior Mandy McIntosh are both vying for the role.
Sophomores Shannon Dugan and Lizzy Raffa are both coming off impressive freshman campaigns and bring an aggressive and confident attack from the outside. Last season Raffa received the team's most improved player award.
On the docket for 2012, Lynn plays four nationally-ranked opponents, including conference foes Tampa (No. 2), Eckerd (No. 19) and Rollins (No. 22) and Wheeling Jesuit (No. 25) in the second match of the season. Additionally, Lynn battles two teams who received votes for the top-25 in Armstrong Atlantic and Florida Southern.
Lynn also faces the challenge of playing five of its 12 home matches away from the friendly confines of the de Hoernle Center as the University hosts the final Presidential Debate on Oct. 22 and the de Hoernle Center will be transformed to house the hundreds of media covering the event.
Lynn's volleyball season begins August 31, against Texas A&M International at 11 a.m. in the 5th Annual Sharks Volleyball Classic hosted by Nova Southeastern. For more information, log on to LynnFightingKnights.com, 'Like' us on Facebook and follow @LUKnights on Twitter and Instagram.