"We're trying to better the program incrementally," said Butler, whose Golden Falcons have one CACC playoff appearance in their eight-year history. "We're trying to get the recruits on the same page as the returnees and set reachable goals."
Three record-setting starters – Nicole Degenhardt, Amber Doran, and Erica Moore -- were lost to graduation. Butler, however, feels she has young players ready to step up and succeed in each vacated position. Now, she is trying to set the groundwork for an atmosphere of success.
"We've done lots of team-building and communication drills, and instituted a buddy system among the veterans and the freshmen," Butler said. "We've tried to develop a sense of camaraderie where we're always thinking positive. In that way our goals will seem attainable and we'll be able to enjoy one of the better seasons for this program."
SETTER: Senior co-captain Megan Delamater (Paramus, NJ/Paramus) (29 matches played, 128 kills, 20 service aces, 177 digs, 25 blocks in 2010) shifts back to her freshman position of setter. The versatile Delamater has also played opposite and middle for the Golden Falcons. Sophomore Gabby Migliore (West Caldwell, NJ/James Caldwell) (6 MP, 31 assists, 10 digs) is the back-up.
OUTSIDE/OPPOSITE: Junior Jenna Matesic (Paramus, NJ/Paramus) (29 MP, 219 K, 240 D) is a third-year starter outside and is already among Felician's all-time kill leaders. Redshirt freshman co-captain Anni Polscher (Elmshorn, Germany) is likely to play in all rotations. Sophomore Ann Scherer (Neustadt in Holstein, Germany) (18 MP, 15 SA, 15 D) is the leading candidate opposite the setter.
"Jenna should be able to develop into more of a leader this year," Butler said. "Anni and Ann have had a year to adapt to the American game and should be ready to attack.."
Freshman Micki Keltos (Shelton, CT/St. Joseph) will challenge for playing time at hitter.
MIDDLE: Look for sophomore Alexa Scrivanich (Paramus, NJ/Paramus) (25 MP, 105 K, 31 B) to be more aggressive with a year's experience at the collegiate level. Freshman Tonia Ford (Bayonne, NJ/Bayonne) is also a candidate.
BACK ROW/LIBERO: Some stiff competition will ensue among a veteran group as seniors Ashlee DiSalvo (Batavia, NY/Batavia) (21 MP, 14 SA, 175 D) and Massy Sanabria (Passaic, NJ/Passaic) (12 MP, 6 K, 19 D) and junior Rosa Mejia (Paterson, NJ/PCTI) (13 MP, 21 D) look to relieve in the back row. Walk-on Marilyn Verdi (Parsippany, NJ/Parsippany) provides depth.