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Rhode Island Rams Women’s Volleyball Rises in Atlantic 10 Conference

Rhode Island Women's Volleyball

The women’s volleyball program at the University of Rhode Island has undergone a dramatic rise over the past decade. After years of middle-of-the-pack finishes in the Atlantic 10 Conference, the Rams have emerged as perennial contenders under head coach Bob Schneck.

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Boston College vs. Rhode Island W Volleyball Mach
Boston College vs. Rhode Island W Volleyball Mach

The Turnaround Under Coach Schneck

Coach Schneck took over the URI volleyball program in 2011. In his first season, the team finished with a respectable 19-8 record. However, Schneck felt the Rams could do more. He started aggressively recruiting talented high school players from across the northeast region. His efforts paid off, and within a few years, URI was consistently ranking among the top teams in the A-10 Conference.

In 2017, the Rams finally claimed their first A-10 title under Schneck. They went on to make their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Though they lost in the first round to Creighton, it was a huge accomplishment for the once-struggling URI squad. It marked the arrival of the Rams as a new Atlantic 10 volleyball power.

Key Players Behind the Rams’ Success

The Rams’ lineup features several standout players who have fueled the team’s winning ways. Outside hitter Abbie Armour has been virtually unstoppable on offense. The senior from Alberta, Canada earned A-10 Player of the Year honors in 2021 after hammering over 500 kills. She averaged 4.25 kills per set with a lofty .319 hitting percentage.

Junior setter Lauren Breitmeyer has also been instrumental in the Rams’ success. Her pinpoint sets and court vision make her an assist machine. She tallied over 1,100 assists in 2021, good for sixth-best in the nation.

Meanwhile, libero Michelle Zaramela anchors the back row defensively. Her quickness and grit fuel URI’s tenacious defense. She led the A-10 with 5.17 digs per set last season.

Women's Volleyball Rhode Island
Women’s Volleyball Rhode Island

Continued Success Within Reach

Rhode Island remains in contention for the A-10 title and an NCAA Tournament bid. They return core players Armour, Breitmeyer, and Zaramela while also integrating a solid freshman class.

Coach Schneck has proven he can reload talent each year through recruiting. As long as he keeps attracting top prospects to URI, the Rams should stay near the top of the conference standings.

Rhode Island Volleyball

The future looks bright for Rhode Island volleyball. This once-dormant program has achieved a complete turnaround under Schneck’s leadership. With their current talent pipeline, the Rams appear poised to cement themselves as a power player in the A-10 for years to come.

Conclusion

In just over a decade, the University of Rhode Island women’s volleyball team has gone from an average program to a perennial contender in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Strategic recruiting and player development by Coach Bob Schneck has allowed the Rams to climb to the upper echelon of the A-10. With stars like Armour, Breitmeyer, and Zaramela leading the way, Rhode Island has become a force to be reckoned with. The Rams are set up for continued success and more shots at the NCAA Tournament in the years ahead. Their rise reflects the competitive balance and quality of play across the Atlantic 10 volleyball landscape.

Rhode Island Women's Volleyball Warriors on Target, Sweep RIC For Little East Victoryl
Rhode Island Women’s Volleyball Warriors on Target, Sweep RIC For Little East Victoryl

Read More: Rhode Island Volleyball

FAQs:

When did the Rhode Island volleyball program start to become competitive?

The turnaround began around 2011 when Coach Bob Schneck took over the program and started recruiting higher caliber players. Within about 5 years, URI became annual contenders.

Who are some of the standouts for the Rams?

Some key players include outside hitter Abbie Armour, setter Lauren Breitmeyer, and libero Michelle Zaramela. Armour is a dominant offensive threat, Breitmeyer is an elite distributor, and Zaramela anchors the defense.

How many NCAA Tournament appearances do the Rams have?

As of 2021, the Rhode Island women’s volleyball team has made just one NCAA Tournament appearance, coming in 2017. This was the program’s first-ever Tournament bid.

What conference does Rhode Island compete in?

The Rams compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference, which has developed into a strong volleyball league. URI won the A-10 title in 2017.

What is the outlook for the future of Rhode Island volleyball?

The future looks bright. With continued strong recruiting and player development under Coach Schneck, URI is expected to remain one of the top contenders in the A-10 for years to come.

Tags: volleyball

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