POUGHKEEPSIE – After winning their first Region XV Division III championship, the Dutchess Community College Women’s Volleyball Team will move on to the NJCAA National Tournament in Rochester, Minnesota, which starts on November 11. They were the first of the 12 teams in the tournament to qualify.
“Congratulations to the Women’s Volleyball Program and all they’ve accomplished,” said Matt Paquet, DCC’s athletics director. “The team has earned this bid through determination, perseverance and team-oriented play. We commend you on a successful season and we can’t wait to cheer you on as you vie for a National Championship.”
Powering the team are four sophomores — Leah Vitiello, Kathleen Brennan, Jordyn Wilsea and Emily Parvar, and six freshman players — Alexa Reinhard, Lauren Siegel, Grace Ferretti, Nicole Spero, Kaitlin Robin and Gabrielle Radovic.
Frank Sanfilippo has been the team’s head coach since 2016. Assistant coach and former DCC player Zarissa Wheeler has been with the team since 2019 and assistant coach Dolores Spero joined the coaching staff this season.
The team finished the fall 2022 season with an overall record of 20-3, a Region XV record of 15-3 and a Mid-Hudson Conference record of 7-1. They are currently ranked #16 in the country (based on the NJCAA DIII Volleyball Rankings poll), the #3 overall seed in Region XV and the #1 seed in the Mid-Hudson Conference and Regular Season Champions.
According to Sanfilippo, the ticket to the nationals hasn’t quite sunk in yet. “I told this group, in the beginning or the year, they had the potential for something great; with a lot of hard work, they exceeded my expectations. They all are extremely fired up about Minnesota. I tried giving them a few days off and they refused: ‘We’re going to nationals. We need to practice.’ I can’t wait to see how this turns out.”
The Falcons are currently awaiting the final Regular Season National Poll for DIII Volleyball and the DIII Volleyball Tournament Seeding Bracket, which will tell them who they will face in the first round of the 12-Team National Championship.
“We’re excited about this major accomplishment by our volleyball team. We know they’ll continue to make us proud, and we wish them the best as they compete in the National Championship games,” said Dr. Peter Jordan, DCC president.