Aug. 23, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.--The Virginia volleyball team opens the 2012 season with three matches at the Rams Volleyball Rocky Mountain Invite in Fort Collins, Colo., on Friday and Saturday (Aug. 24-25).
The Cavaliers, under first-year head coach Dennis Hohenshelt, open the campaign against host Colorado State Friday at 9 p.m. Eastern. The Rams have won three straight Mountain West championships and have recorded 17 consecutive 20-win seasons and NCAA Tournament berths. In 2011, Colorado State went 24-6. Senior outside hitter Dana Cranston has been selected as the Mountain West Co-Preseason Player of the Year.
The match against Colorado State will be available via an audio stream here and live video is available (subscription based) here.
Virginia will then face Rhode Island Saturday at 1 p.m. Eastern. The Rams finished 15-15 in 2011, and sixth in the Atlantic 10 with a 7-8 conference record. Rhode Island, which is led by senior Annie Nelson and junior Britta Baarstad, made the A-10 tournament for the first time in 10 years last season.
The Cavaliers will conclude the tourney with a matchup against Denver, which moves to the Western Athletic Conference from the Sun Belt Conference this year. The Pioneers have been picked sixth in the WAC Preseason Poll and senior Faimie Kingsley was named to the Preseason All-WAC team. Denver went 13-16 in 2011.
Virginia returns 10 letterwinners from the 2011 campaign, including senior co-captain Jessica O'Shoney, who was named to the Preseason All-ACC squad. A native of Austin, Texas, O'Shoney ranked fifth in the ACC in hitting percentage (.347) and seventh in blocks (1.09 blocks per set) in 2011. The middle blocker ranks 10th in UVa history with 321 career total blocks.
Fellow senior Tobi Farrar (Arlington, Texas) and junior Emily Rottman (Santa Barbara, Calif.) have also been named captains for the 2012 season.
Farrar, a native of Arlington, Texas, posted a career-high 114 kills in 22 matches last year. The right-side hitter was named to the Holiday Inn Jefferson Cup All-Tournament team and tallied a career-best 13 kills with a .600 hitting percentage against Wake Forest.
Rottman, a native of Santa Barbara, Calif., led the Cavaliers with 405 digs (3.75 digs per set) in 2011. Rottman, who spent time as the libero and as an outside hitter, recorded double-digit digs 24 times in 29 matches played and tallied four double-doubles.
Next up, the Cavaliers open the 2012 home schedule with the Holiday Inn Jefferson Cup at Memorial Gym Aug. 31-Sept. 1, as Delaware, Lehigh and Western Kentucky travel to Charlottesville.