NORTH ANDOVER, MA – Under the guidance of second year head coach TJ Hajjar, the Merrimack women's volleyball team will open up their 2012 schedule with four non conference matches at the Sharks Classic in Florida.
Hajjar welcomes three newcomers who will join the 10 returnees on a squad that lost only one senior to graduation.
Merrimack will have four non-conference matches completed before it opens up their conference schedule on the road at UMass Lowell on September 4.
"As a coach I truly couldn't be more excited about the season to start," expressed Hajjar. "We are bringing all but one player back from last year's team and have three great recruits coming in."
In all, Merrimack will have nine regular season home games with the home opener scheduled for September 18 against Southern New Hampshire.
In 2011, the Warriors finished in 15th place in the conference with a 5-22 record overall, 2-13 in the league and failing to make the Conference Tournament.
The Warriors will be on the road for a season-long four game conference road trip from September 29 to October 2 as they will take on Southern New Hampshire, Assumption, Saint Anselm and Saint Michael's.
"With a year under the team's belt they feel much more comfortable with what needs to be done," stated Hajjar. "The sky is the limit for this team and we look to make a run early in the season."
Leading the way will be seniors Jenna Reilly (Northport, NY), Shaunda Forcier (Gonic, NH), Brianna Trabucco (Canton, MA) and sophomore Stephanie Sheehan (Smithtown, NY). The freshman duo of Hannah Pavlik (Monument, CO) and Madison Burke (San Jose, Calif.) will be relied on heavily on the defensive side of the ball to propel the Warriors to victory.
"Hannah Pavlik and Madison Burke from this year's recruiting class will be pressured from day one to create the back bone for our defense, Said Hajjar.
In a four-day span from October 16 to October 20, Merrimack will host three big conference matches against Franklin Pierce, Pace and Adelphi.
The Warriors will close out the season with three straight home matches followed by two road matches. Merrimack will host Saint Anselm on November 6 for Senior Day. The regular season will come to an end with back-to-back road matches against Le Moyne and Saint Rose.
"I think our expectations for the season are to improve a great deal from last season," said Hajjar. "I truly believe with hard work and dedication, this team can compete with the best."
This is the fourth in a series of Merrimack team schedule releases. Check back regularly at www.merrimackathletics.com to view upcoming team previews and schedule releases.
August 6: Cross Country
August 7: Women's Golf
August 8: Women's Crew
August 9: Volleyball
August 10: Men's Soccer
August 13: Women's Soccer
August 14: Field Hockey
August 15: Football