The University of Scranton volleyball team enjoyed a record-breaking season in 2017, shattering the program record for wins by posting a 35-5 record on the year and reaching the Landmark Conference championship match. Armed with 12 returners and four newcomers, the Royals will look to take the next step this fall after being selected second in the Landmark Conference preseason coaches' poll.
Scranton garnered 50 points and one first place vote in the balloting of the league's head coaches to be slotted just behind preseason favorite Juniata. The Eagles, who have won the Landmark Conference championship all 11 seasons since the league was formed, collected 60 points and six first place votes.
Susquehanna placed third in the poll with 40 points while Moravian and Elizabethtown tied for fourth with 24 points apiece. Catholic and Goucher rounded out the balloting with 21 points and 12 points, respectively.
The Royals, who have reached the Landmark Conference playoffs in each of the past eight seasons, will be led by sixth-year head coach Jamie Spangler, who was honored the Landmark Conference Coach of the Year last fall. Spangler welcomes back three All-Conference players from last year's squad including the league's Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year.
Senior Kristin Kirwan (Park Ridge, N.J./Immaculate Heart Academy) is looking to cap of an already decorated career in style after an outstanding junior campaign. The outside hitter, who a three-time First Team All-Landmark Conference selection, was named the conference's Player of the Year last fall, was an AVCA First Team All-Region selection, and was named to the AVCA All-American Honorable Mention squad after racking up 501 kills and picking up 359 digs.
Sophomore Kindler Norman (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) returns to the setter position after claiming Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year and First Team All-Conference accolades in her first year with the Royals. Norman put up team-best 1,222 assists last fall and added 298 digs and 113 kills.
Sophomore Regina Schetroma (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West) was a Second Team All-Landmark Conference honoree in her first year at Scranton after picking up a team-leading 582 digs as defensive specialist.
Seniors Catherine Manning (Eastchester, N.Y./Eastchester) and Megan Monastra (West Chester, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) join Kirwan to provide veteran leadership for the Royals this fall. Manning totaled 207 kills and had a team-high 106 total blocks a season ago while Monastra contributed 243 kills during her junior year.
Scranton will open the season this weekend in the John Long Center as the Royals host the Scranton Invitational. The Royals will take on Misericordia at 2:30 p.m. and RIT at 8:30 p.m. on Friday before meeting Brockport at 10:30 a.m. and Eastern at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The Royals kick off their Landmark Conference slate on Saturday, September 29 when Elizabethtown and Goucher travel to Scranton for a tri-match starting at 12:00 p.m.
To view the full 2018 University of Scranton volleyball schedule, click here.