The University of the District of Columbia Women’s Volleyball Team Closes Out the 2011 Campaign
Washington, DC - The University of the District of Columbia Women's Volleyball Team completed their 2011 season with an overall record of 11-22, 6-5 at home. The Firebirds played a 33 game schedule, including 13 home and 20 away. The regular season began on September 2nd when UDC hosted a five team, two- day tournament. The tournament participants included Virginia State University, Elizabeth City State University, Goldey-Beacom College. The Firebirds went 3-1 on the weekend to begin their season on a high note. The season then concluded on Saturday, November 5th as the Firebirds hosted Mercy College in the UDC Gym.
The regular season schedule featured many quality opponents, including East Coast Conference foe Dowling College, who was ranked 22nd nationally in the AVCA pre-season poll and is now currently competing in the NCAA Tournament along with fellow ECC members NYIT and Bridgeport. The UDC Athletic Department joined the East Coast Conference (ECC) effective July 1, 2011, and this season marked the inaugural season for the Women's Volleyball program in the ECC.
The Firebirds were coming off a very successful 2010 season, recording a 20-8 record. This year's team was highlighted by junior middle hitter Vanessa Garley (Business- Rio Rancho, New Mexico) and junior libero Grace Perilli (Economics-Lewisburg, West Virginia). Garley finished the season at UDC with an outstanding 304 kills and 63 blocks. Perilli also had a great year leading the team with 339 digs and almost 4 digs per set.
The Women's Volleyball Team also hosted their First Annual Youth Day on October 8th against NYIT. The event was a success as over 30 kids from the community enjoyed a free clinic, admission and autograph session hosted by the team members. The Firebirds also hosted "Dig Pink" on October 26th as they hosted Bridgeport University to help raise funds for the Sideout Foundation.
Head Women's Volleyball Coach Sheila Weaver, who just finished her third year at UDC, spoke about the season, "This year was a learning experience. We now have a good feel on what it takes to be competitive in the ECC. This Spring we will have an opportunity to work on individual skills and focus on developing the mental toughness to finish close matches."