Members of the Connecticut College women's volleyball react as they watch the NCAA selection show with President Lee Higdon and Fran Shields, the Katherine Wenk Christoffers '45 Director of Athletics at Connecticut College.
The Connecticut College Camels have qualified for the 2012 NCAA Volleyball Championship, and the road to the "Elite Eight" will pass through New London, Conn. The College will host the eight-team regional round of the tournament Nov. 9-11.
The Camels will play Framingham State University, the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference champions, Friday at 8 p.m. in the College's Luce Field House. If they win, they'll play Saturday at 6 p.m.
The regional finals are Sunday at 4 p.m. This is the first time the team has made the tournament. The 64-team field was announced Monday on the NCAA website.
"This is a huge accomplishment not only for the team, but also for the program," Carly Guiducci '13 said. "We are all so excited to have the opportunity to host and play on our home court. I see this as an opportunity to play not only for ourselves, but for the College."
The Camels were undefeated in the month of October and put together a 14-match winning streak that culminated with a 3-0 victory against Williams College Saturday in the semifinal round of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship, which was also hosted by the College.
The team is led by Head Coach Josh Edmed, who has posted 186 wins in 11 seasons at the helm of the Camel program, and a talented senior trio. Guiducci has amassed 643 digs, 36 assists, 36 aces and nine kills as defensive leader and floor general. Katie Ketcham has dished out 1989 assists in her career, as well as 361 digs, 150 kills, 96 aces and 53 blocks. Rachel Schroff has collected 966 kills, 588 digs, 242 assists, 164 blocks and 134 aces.
On Wednesday, Schroff, who led the conference with 3.42 kills per set and ranked second with a .312 hitting percentage, was named 2012 NESCAC Player of the Year by the league's coaches. She also earned All-Conference honors for the first time in her career. Edmed was named Coach of the Year and Ketcham joined Schroff on the All-NESCAC First Team. Freshman Caroline Martin became the second player in program history to earn NESCAC Rookie of the Year honors; she was named Second Team All-NESCAC.
"This has been an incredible season," Schroff said. "I couldn't have asked for a better way to end my senior year. I have been fortunate to play with such an outstanding group of girls and have the support of such an incredible coaching staff. I am looking forward to continuing our path of success on our home court."
Edmed said he appreciates the leadership and dedication of his senior class. "Our senior class has bled Connecticut College blue since stepping foot on campus three and a half years ago," Edmed said. "The pride, dedication and lead-by-example attitude that this group has demonstrated in every facet of their affiliation with the College has been nothing short of outstanding."
Ketcham, who led the NESCAC in assists, averaging 10.40 per set, said the team is grateful for the support it has received from the College community. "Seeing all of our friends and classmates in the stands and the sheer number of people this past weekend really showed how supportive an environment Conn is," she said.