RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Five recent high-school graduates and one transfer student have signed national letters of intent to continue their volleyball careers at Felician University, Felician head women's coach John Chang announced today.
Felician is a member of NCAA Division II and competes in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). The Golden Falcons are slated to begin their 2018 season with a September 1 road match against Stonehill College.
Kahea Aea (Mililani, Hawaii/Kamehameha) helped lead Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama to a 2017 Hawaiian state championship. A 5-foot-7 outside/opposite hitter, she is a two-time all-state West selection. Aea also played soccer and basketball for the Warriors, and is a member of the Maunalani Volleyball Club. She intends to major in exercise sports science at Felician. "Kahea is such a versatile player," said Chang, entering his fifth season with Felician. "Her positive attitude and knowledge of the sport will be huge assets to our volleyball family."
Sierra Gallagher (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kamehameha), a 5-foot-5 libero, was a teammate of Aea's both on Kamehameha-Kapalama and with the Maunalani Volleyball Club. She claimed Academic Honor Roll status for all four years at KSK, and also was a member of the Warriors' 2016 Hawaii Prep Beach Volleyball State champions. Gallagher is undecided on a major course of study. "I'm really happy to have found Sierra," Chang said. "Her reaction time and 'hustle factor' will make us tougher in the back row. She may also find some playing time at the setter position."
Julia Lukasiewicz (North Arlington, N.J./North Arlington), 5-foot-6, was a two-time all-North Jersey Interscholastic Conference outside hitter for North Arlington High. She also competes for the North Jersey Volleyball Club, based in Nutley. She expects to major in biology. "Julia is a great addition to our family," Chang said. "Though an outside hitter in high school, she has a chance to play right away for us in the back row and be impactful."
Melissa Marte (Bloomfield, N.J./Bloomfield) holds the Bloomfield High School record of 273 kills in one season. A 5-foot-3 outside hitter, she also completed in indoor track & field and softball for the Bengals. Marte plays for the Atlantic Valley Volleyball Club in the winters. She hopes to study business administration. "Adding Melissa is a huge plus for us," Chang said. "She possesses a big swing and a work ethic that is untouchable. She has also been coached well in the Bloomfield High program."
Alondra Diaz Sanchez (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico/Colegio de La Salle) participated in volleyball, cross-country, and track & field for De La Salle School in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. At 5-foot-3, she is a libero for the Revolution Elite Volleyball Academy, also based in Bayamón. She is looking to major in biology. "Alondra was a huge find," Chang said. "She is a tenacious back row player who just hates to see the ball drop on her side."
Raamiah Edwards (Bloomfield, N.J./Bloomfield) is a 5-foot-4 outside hitter who played most recently for the Sideout Sports Volleyball Club, based in Fairfield. She received an associate degree from Essex County College in May. Edwards is a 2016 graduate of Bloomfield High, where she was a First Team Super Essex Conference selection as a senior and also participated in track & field. She intends to enroll in Felician's pre-physical therapy program. "I am very happy to see Raamiah come on board with us," Chang said. "Just her presence on the team will be a huge asset."
The six student-athletes listed above join transfer student Melody Carbonell (Jersey City, N.J./NYC Museum School) as scholarship newcomers to the 2018 Felician women's volleyball program. Recent high-school graduate Maddie Sloan (Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell) has been accepted to Felician and invited to walk on to the team as well.
Felician posted a won-lost record of 4-22 in 2017. The Golden Falcons finished sixth in the CACC North Division with a 2-17 league mark.
Felician University, the Franciscan University of New Jersey, is a liberal arts, coeducational Catholic university founded in 1942 and sponsored by the Felician Sisters. True to its mission, Felician University welcomes a diverse student population and embraces its educational needs. With campuses in Lodi and Rutherford, New Jersey, Felician University currently enrolls more than 2,400 students and offers more than 55 undergraduate and graduate programs, in the classroom and online, in the arts and sciences, business and management sciences, health sciences and teacher education. Felician University also sponsors 14 varsity intercollegiate sports that compete at the NCAA Division II level.