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Friends, Family, and Alumni of UAlbany Volleyball:


Hello! I hope this finds you all doing well and that you are enjoying your spring. It's been a great past couple of months for the volleyball program. In our spring season, we opened up at a tournament at UConn. Spring tournaments are typically a two games and you're done ordeal. We came out against Yale (who we lost to in the NCAA tournament) and beat them 2-0 and then did the same to Rhode Island and Northeastern. We split games with UConn, Fairfield, and Rutgers. The second tournament at Binghamton had us sweeping the host Bearcats and Wagner, and then splitting with Syracuse. Our last tournament at Syracuse, had us opening up with a split with Syracuse and Buffalo, a sweep against St. Francis meant a final match-up against the Orangemen where we won 2-1.


Three areas where we wanted to improve this spring were on our passing, defensive range, and our shot-making. I definitely felt we got better in those areas. This was the first time in four years that we've played a match without our two terrific out-going seniors Jill Dombrowski and Susan Spierre. We will miss them both! We were also without Ashley Hunter and Ashley Green as they spent the semester in the weight room and getting old injuries healed. I was also pleased to see that we tested very well as a team, as everyone put up great numbers in the weight room. Ashley Crenshaw became the first volleyball player since I've been here to touch over ten feet with a jump of 10'2. Shelby Goldman put up some big numbers with her 235 lb. squat and 175 lb. hang cleans.


As far as recruiting, we put together what I think has the ability to be an absolutely great class. Last month we were able to get a commitment from Colorado State transfer Hillary White. Hillary is a 6'1 middle-blocker and two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of South Dakota. CSU is a perennial top 20 program. Hillary red-shirted last year playing behind a couple of older all-conference players. She will come in and be an immediate physical force for us next season. Kamisha Kellam from Maryland is another amazing athlete and is touching higher than what Crenshaw is. Kamisha is a 6'1 middle/right-side who chose the Great Danes over the University of Maryland and American University. Allison Wolfe is a 5'11 1st Team All-State outside hitter from Virginia. She plays for the top club program in the state and with some strength training could be a great presence for us real soon. Marirose Serkowski is a 5'9 setter from Rhinebeck, NY. Marirose was a 1st Team All-State player this year and is one of the biggest competitors on the east coast. She will back up Blair Buchanan for the next two years, but will be a great one when she takes hold of the reins. She's a player that I'm really looking forward to working with come August!


On the coaching front, we are sad to see assistant coach Jen Hampton leave the program. She was a big reason for our success last year and will miss her greatly. With that said, I am pleased to announce that we have filled the position. MJ Engstrom will be here along with the return of Ron Sparks. MJ has seven years of head coaching experience at the Division I level. She guided both Villanova and Nicholls St. to NCAA tournament appearances. The appearance at Villanova was the first time that a Big-East team got an at-large bid. MJ has been an assistant at the University at Washington and at the University of North Dakota. She also has multiple years of experience helping out with the men's and women's national teams. MJ will bring a passion for the game, an unbelievable work ethic, a positive attitude, and tremendous knowledge to our program.


As for the fall season, we have put together an amazing schedule. We open our home schedule 9/28 against Buffalo. Other out of conference home matches will be UConn, Syracuse, Iona, Penn, and Ohio which finished the year ranked 19th in the country in the RPI. Highlight away matches will be top 20 team CAL, Virginia, Texas St., and Seton Hall. The schedule is challenging and should offer us many opportunities to see how good we can be.


I also want to let you know about our summer camps. The first one is an overnight camp July 18-21, and the second one is a setter/hitter and day camp which runs August 1-3. For more information, please see the UAlbany athletic web-site. Again, I hope all is well. Thank you for your support and I hope to hear from you soon!







Kelly Sheffield

Head Volleyball Coach

University at Albany

PE Bldg. Suite #123

1400 Washington Ave.

Albany, NY 12222

(518) 442-3039 - office



2004 America East Conference Champions

2004 NCAA Tournament

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Holy CRAP....talk about turning a program into a power. Coach's Sheffield and Cannata are doing ridiculously unheard of things with NE teams in Volleyball and Softball respectively.


The recruits and the schedule for this fall are out of this world. Good job Coach.

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I didn't know that Frank Barone and Dane 96 were one and the same. Nevetheless, he is absolutely correct. The UAlbany transition to being an outstanding D1 program has occurred faster than I could have imagined. This is a credit to the great coaches that have been hired and to the ability to attract superb athletes to this corner of teh world. Congratulations to all.


Also, as the 04-05 athletic season approaches its climax, I want to thank Dane Pound for the great job in running this board. It has been most informative and the discussions have been at times profound, witty, thoughtful, and almost always respectful of people's opinions (unlike another board in the vacinity). I hope the discussions and the information continues to flow through the summer.


Best to all!

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Thanks UA66. I have a few off-season upgrades in store for the summer. I hope to install a live chat room so people following games on the radio or internet can comment on things as they happen instead of waiting to post.


I agree with you on how quickly things have taken off in the D1 era. I actually thought about running a poll on it but I suspect a lot of people feel the same way. Hard to imagine just a few years ago when everyone was kicking Albany's butt that after 6 years most teams would finish in top half of the conference standings and 3 teams would go to the NCAA tournament.

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