New Haven, Conn. – The Albertus Magnus College women's volleyball team finished the 2015 season with a 5-18 overall record and landed in 11th-place in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) with a 1-10 mark in league matches.
In her first year at the helm of the program, Head Coach Vanessa Rosario guided the Falcons to non-conference wins against York, Medgar Evers, Purchase and Elms, while also topping conference foe Norwich, 3-0, on the road.
"My first year as head coach was a great growing experience," Rosario said. "We made great progress toward the end of the season and that's what I look for, growth. I plan to take the things I learned this season and enter next fall with more experience and better insight. I'm excited about growing the program while strengthening and inspiring my players."
Following the campaign, freshman outside hitter Gina Cintron (New Haven, Conn.) represented the squad on the GNAC All-Sportsmanship Team. The 5-4 first-year appeared in all 23 matches for Albertus Magnus, stepping on the court for 74 of 77 sets. She ranked fourth on the squad with 45 kills to go along with nine assists and seven aces. Defensively, she recorded 97 digs and in total, she accounted for 53.0 points this autumn. Cintron registered five or more kills in a match three times this season and had seven or more digs in a contest six times.
Albertus Magnus opened the year with a 3-2 road win versus York College in early September. In the fifth and deciding game, Albertus erased an early 6-2 deficit behind three kills and an ace to tie it at six. With the score later tied at eight, the Falcons scored seven of the final 10 points to earn the win. The season-opening triumph was the first for Albertus since taking a five-set thriller versus Elms in 2012.
In mid-September, the team topped Medgar Evers, 3-1, at Bard in a tri-match. After dropping the first four games of the day, the Falcons answered by winning the final three to leave the Empire State with a split and their second win of the year.
Two weeks later, freshman middle hitter Megan Gritz (Milford, Conn.) and junior outside hitter Amber Cohens (Hamden, Conn.) each registered 13 kills apiece to lead Albertus Magnus past Purchase State on the road on October 14. With the 25-21, 26-24, 25-17 victory, the Falcons snapped a five-match losing streak to improve to 3-12 overall.
In the second tilt in a tri-match at Norwich on October 17, the Falcons cruised to a 3-0 triumph over the host Cadets in the finale. In the nightcap, both teams struggled to find any attacking power in the contest that saw 44 attack errors, 17 service errors, 13 receiving errors and four block errors. On the day, senior defensive specialist Ramona Onofrio (East Haven, Conn.) led the Falcons with a combined 34 digs, while sophomore defensive specialist Marielis Muriel (New Haven, Conn.) added 29 of her own on the day. Sophomore Ana Gomez was a solid contributor on the defensive end as well, recording 18 digs and a team-high two blocks.
In their next match, the Falcons defeated Elms, 3-1, on senior night at The Nest inside the Cosgrove Marcus Messer Athletic Center. Prior to the contest, the team honored Onofrio for her contributions to the program. In her final home match as a Falcon, the five-foot captain registered a match-best 25 assists to go along with four service aces and a team-high 16 digs. The tilt marked the fifth time this autumn she has recorded 20 or more assists. Offensively, Cohens led the charge for the Falcons with 14 kills, while Gomez added 11 kills and Gritz had 10 of her own. The victory was the second straight overall for the team and their third non-conference win in a row.
Over the final two weeks of the regular season, Albertus lost its final five games to just miss the GNAC Tournament.
Gritz had a stellar first year on campus, leading the team in kills (160), kills per set (2.11), attack percentage (.151), blocks (13), points (197.0) and points per set (2.6). The 5-9 hitter recorded 10 or more kills in a match five times this autumn, including a career-high 13 twice. The team went 4-1 in games where she recorded at least 10 kills. Gomez and Cohens were second and third on the team in kills with 136 and 129, respectively. The two also registered 12 blocks apiece and both averaged 2.2 points per set. Onofrio led the team in assists with 312 and service aces with 50, while Muriel added 103 assists 24 aces.
Defensively, Onofrio led the team in digs for the second straight season, recording 217 this fall. As a team, the Falcons had over 1,000 digs with five players topping the 125-dig plateau. Muriel and Gomez contributed 192 and 176 digs, respectively, while freshman defensive specialist and libero Megan Warnke (Naugatuck, Conn.) had 161 in her first year with the team. Gritz was fifth on the squad in digs with 132.