Saint Joseph's Volleyball Freshman Class Announced

Saint Joseph's Volleyball Freshman Class Announced

STANDISH, Maine – The Saint Joseph's College volleyball Class of 2023 has been announced.

Head Coach Jon Roberts' first recruiting class features eight newcomers from three different states and includes two middle hitters, four outside hitters, and two setters.

The incoming class brings to the SJC volleyball program a considerable amount of club and high school volleyball experience, an attribute that will likely lead to meaningful playing time for the first-year group as a whole, as Coach Roberts expects many of the freshmen to contribute immediately.

"I am very excited about this year's class of incoming student athletes," adds Coach Roberts.  "This group includes some great people, both on and off the court.  They are going to contribute right away and I believe they will help push our program to the next level during their time here." 

The Monks lost just two seniors – libero Jennelle Thompson and setter Sarah Dyer - from a 2018 squad that went 10-18 overall, including a 5-7 record in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play, during Coach Roberts' first season on the SJC sidelines. Thompson established SJC and GNAC career records for digs (2,506) and digs average (6.11) during her career and was a four-time All-Conference honoree with 34 individual accolades to her credit. Dyer registered 1,678 assists – the second-highest total in team history – with 162 kills and 659 digs during three seasons as a starter.



Catherine Balzano
Major: Nursing
Position: Outside/Right Side Hitter
Height: 5-9
Portland, Maine / Deering High School

Why Saint Joseph's? I fell in love with how it felt when I went on my first tour and when I came back later it was confirmed that Saint Joseph's is where I would like to be.

High School: Played volleyball and softball at Deering High School…Earned varsity letters and was chosen as the John Cassavola Sportsmanship Award recipient…Played Maine Juniors for seven years…Listed on the Academic Honor Roll.

Community Service: Participated in Key Club at Deering High for two years and for her senior project hosted a walk in the Deering Center area to raise money for the Thirst Project to benefit the global water crisis.

Personal: Catherine Anita Balzano, Daughter of Jennifer and Tony Balzano…Has two siblings, Anthony and Angela.


Amanda Darby
Major: Marine Science
Position: Setter
Height: 5-4
Shrewsbury, Mass. / Shrewsbury High School

Why Saint Joseph's? Saint Joseph's offers great academic opportunities for my major and I get to play volleyball.

High School: Played two years of varsity volleyball at Shrewsbury High School…As a senior helped her team claim the 2018 Midland-Wachusett League Championship and finish as a Division 1 District Championship Finalist…Played for CMASS Juniors Volleyball Club for four years…Member of National Honor Society, English National Honor Society, Social Studies National Honor Society, and Tri-M Honor Society.

Community Service: Unified partner for Special Olympics volleyball

Personal: Amanda Rae Darby, daughter of Jodi and Joel Darby…Has one sister, Heather.


Laura Fortier
Major: Nursing
Position: Outside Hitter
Height: 5-9
Saco, Maine / Thornton Academy

Why Saint Joseph's? Saint Joseph's has the top nursing program in the state of Maine.

High School: Participated in volleyball and outdoor track at Thornton Academy…Selected as a team captain her sophomore, junior and senior years…Listed on the Academic Honor Roll…

Personal: Laura Grace Fortier, daughter of Karen and Fredrick Fortier.


Hanna Holden
Major: Biology
Position: Setter
Height: 5-7
Stoughton, Mass. / Stoughton High School

Why Saint Joseph's? The campus is beautiful, the volleyball team is very welcoming, and my major is offered.

High School: Participated in volleyball, basketball, and track & field at Stoughton High School…Helped lead her team to the Division 2 Semifinals her senior year…Selected as a senior captain in volleyball and basketball…Played for the Southern Alliance Volleyball Club for four years…Earned the Scholar Athlete Award, Triple Crown Award, Enterprise All-Scholastic Award, and Hockomock League All-Star honors…Academically, listed on the High Honor Roll and Honor Roll and a member of the National Honor Society and National Business Honor Society.

Community Service: Coached town youth league and travel basketball for four years, Christmas in the City in Boston, volleyball camps/ clinics at YMCA.

Personal: Hanna Rose Holden, daughter of Rosemarie and Michael Holden…Has one sibling, Ella.


Catherine Lane
Major: Elementary Education
Position: Middle
Height: 5-8
Millis, Mass. / Millis High School

Why Saint Joseph's? Campus, Volleyball

High School: Participated in volleyball, basketball, and track & field at Millis High School…Selected as the Most Improved Player in volleyball…Member of the National Honor Society and listed on the Academic Honor Roll.

Community Service: Volunteer for the Needham Junior Football Organization.

Personal: Catherine J. Lane, Daughter of Dawn and David Lane…Has two siblings, Joe and Tim.


Isabel Philbrick
Major: Environmental Science
Position: Middle Hitter
Height: 5-11
Milford, N.H. / Milford High School

Why Saint Joseph's? Saint Joseph's College has everything I am looking for academically, in the community, and in athletics.

High School: Participated in volleyball and indoor and outdoor track at Milford High School…Earned the Four Year Varsity award and collected Second Team All-State accolades…Helped lead her team to the 2018 Division 2 Championship game…Played club for Hard Rock Volleyball (two years), NH Titans (three years) and NEBV (two years)…Member of the National Art Honors Society and listed on the Academic Honor Roll.

Community Service: Coached middle school volleyball and helped run elementary school volleyball clinics.

Personal: Isabel Marie Philbrick, daughter of Christine Cushing and Jeremy Philbrick…Has one sibling, Elora.


Colette Romatis
Major: Undeclared
Position: Outside/Right Side Hitter
Height: 5-7
Gorham, Maine / Gorham High School

Why Saint Joseph's? I wanted to go to Saint Joseph's because I have the opportunity to play volleyball and many of my friends are going there.

High School: Helped Gorham advance to the 2018 Maine State Class A Championship match her senior year…Played for Boom Volleyball for two years and Maine Juniors for two years…Member of the National Honors Society and Spanish Honors Society…Earned an award for Excellence in Technology Education and graduated with Cum Laude honors.

Community Service: Served as a counselor in training at the Gorham Recreation Department.

Personal: Colette Marie Romatis, daughter of Shirley and Mark Romatis…Has one sibling, Gianna.


Elizabeth Whelton
Major: Elementary Education
Position: Right Side/Outside Hitter
Height: 5-9
Chester, N.H. / Pinkerton Academy

Why Saint Joseph's? I love the atmosphere and how friendly everyone is here! I knew this was the right school for me when I first visited Saint Joseph's.

High School: Played high school volleyball at Pinkerton Academy…Earned the Team Player award…Participated in club volleyball for Lat42, Dig Deep, and Great Bay…Listed on the Academic Honor Roll.

Community Service: Ocean clean up

Personal: Elizabeth Marie Whelton, daughter of Linda and Bill Whelton…Has four siblings: Nicole Baron, Tyler Baron, Tara Hughes, and Taylor Hughes.





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Founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy in Portland, Maine, Saint Joseph’s College is Maine’s Catholic liberal arts college in the Mercy tradition. We are inclusive of all faiths, including no faith. The 474-acre campus, located on the shore of Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine offers more than 40 undergraduate programs and a Division III athletic program to a population of approximately 1,000 on-campus students. A pioneer of distance education since the 1970s, the College also provides online certificates and undergraduate and graduate degrees for thousands more working adults who reside in more than 20 other countries. In 2015 the College was selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to receive its Community Engagement Classification, highlighting the College’s focus on community service throughout its mission and daily interactions within local, regional, and global communities. In 2018, Princeton Review recognized SJC as one of its “Green Colleges” for its sustainability initiatives. Learn more at