The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) women’s volleyball team kicks off its fall 2023 season, hosting Delaware Technical Community College at La Plata on Friday, Aug. 18. The match starts at 6 p.m., promising an intense competition that mirrors last year’s 3-0 sweep by CSM over Delaware Tech before the latter went on to win their Region 19 Division II championship.

CSM’s women’s volleyball team is gearing up for a strong season, fueled by the memory of reaching the Region 20 Division II Tournament semifinals last year, ending with a 13-7 overall record. This marked their most successful season since 2017.

Returning players Lillian Reynolds, Ellyssa Fultz, and Alyssa Powell are back on the court after earning prestigious recognition in the previous season. Reynolds made the 2022 All-Region 20 Division II Second Team and All-Maryland JUCO Second Team, while Fultz achieved All-Region 20 Division II Second Team status and an All-Maryland JUCO Honorable Mention. Powell also was named a Region 20 Division II Honorable Mention, with Fultz even making the Region 20 Division II All-Tournament Team.

“I am expecting big things from my three returners,” said CSM women’s volleyball head coach Allorie Sanders. “All three should make an All-Region team again. I believe I have an All-American in the bunch. They expressed to the freshmen what to expect for this season.”

Freshmen Maria Peña and Katy Swanson have joined the Hawks, adding their unique skills and enthusiasm to the team.

“Maria Peña is an all-around player,” Sanders noted. “She comes with great knowledge of the game and loves playing. I believe she’ll play a major role in our winning season. Katy Swanson is arguably one of the best 2023 defensive specialists from the tri-county area. She has so much grit and speed to match. I can’t wait to watch her play.”

Coach Sanders is optimistic about her team’s prospects for the upcoming season, believing in the continuous growth and development of the team. “This year, CSM volleyball is continuing to build from all the hard work and dedication we put into last year,” Sanders explained. “The players are hungry and have set high goals for themselves and the team. I am expecting to come out on top in Region 20. We were so close last year, so I know we can pull it off this year.”

The team’s schedule includes a noteworthy match against Montgomery College, ranked No. 20 in the NJCAA Division II preseason poll, in La Plata on August 29. Montgomery is the reigning Region 20 Division II champion.

Sanders emphasized her team’s preparedness, saying, “As long as everyone does their job on the court, we will come out victorious.”

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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