HC Volleyball Team under New Leadership

2005 Season Preview
Release Date:
September 1, 2005
The Office of Sports Information
(716) 649-7900 ext. 333

HAMBURG, NY - First-year Hilbert College head women’s volleyball coach Tim Clauss takes over a Hawks program that will be looking to improve on their 1-15 finish of a year ago.  With six out of ten players on this year’s roster being freshmen, Clauss will rely on his veterans to guide this young program through a challenging 2005 campaign.

“This year’s team has the core skill level to be competitive through the season.  As a young club however, we still need to gain the experience and volleyball smarts to take our game to the next level,” stated Clauss.  "I expect that we will become a better team as the season plays out, laying the foundation for a successful program in the future."

The Hawks will rely on a lone senior, one junior, and two sophomores to provide instant stability for the 2005 season.  Senior setter Amanda Ellis (Arcade, NY/Pioneer) looks to finish her collegiate career with the Hawks after finishing 2004 with 95 assists and 89 digs.  She is supported by sophomores Laura Stranc (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) and Nicolette Newton (Forestville, NY/Forestville), along with junior Stephanie Salada (Perry, NY/Perry Central).  Stranc led the 2004 squad with 103 assists while both Newton and Salada return with significant playing experience.  “I am pleased with the returning student-athletes who have the right attitude and will be good leaders for our first-year players,” mentioned Clauss. 

Rounding out the team is a freshmen class comprised of Desiree Miller (Cheektowaga, NY/West Seneca East), Keri Bush (Horseheads, NY/Horseheads), Ashton Vertalino (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg), Jenelle Layfield (Olean, NY/Olean), Kristy Gonciarz (Cheektowaga, NY/Maryvale), and Rachel Edwards (Westfield, NY/Westfield).  “I am very excited for this year’s freshmen,” commented Clauss.  “They will contribute in a very positive manner immediately, and provide a solid nucleus for our program over the next four years”.

The Hawks open the 2005 season on the road Thursday, September 1st at local rival D'Youville College for a 7:00 PM contest.  The first regular season home game is scheduled for Wednesday, September 21st against Keuka College at 7:00 PM.

Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 1,100 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs and new Accelerated Degree Programs geared to adult learners.