R-MC, W&L Tied Atop Volleyball Poll
Lynchburg, Virginia Wesleyan, Roanoke Packed Tight in Top Five
FOREST, Va. ---
Randolph-Macon College and Washington and Lee University sit tied
atop the 2011 ODAC Volleyball Preseason Poll, with each school
earning five first place votes and 95 total points following the
annual survey of the league’s coaches. Lynchburg
College collected the remaining top nod and 75 tallies to secure
third position. Virginia Wesleyan College and Roanoke College
are within six points of the Hornets with 72 and 69 points,
Both R-MC and W&L made some noise in the 2010 NCAA Division III Tournament. The Generals, who earned an at-large bid into the field of 63 teams, opened with a 3-1 win over Mt. St. Joseph. W&L saw its season come to an end the next day via a 3-1 decision to regional host Emory University.
Owner of the ODAC’s automatic qualifier thanks to its second straight conference championship, Randolph-Macon played itself to within one match of the national championship series following a 3-2 nail-biter over Franklin & Marshall College and a 3-0 drubbing of Colorado College. What followed was a five-set thriller against regional host Christopher Newport University. The match see-sawed back and forth with each squad trading games won, but it was CNU who prevailed in extra points in the deciding frame for a 3-2 win.
The ODAC alignment has added and subtracted a program for the 2011 season. Hollins University rejoins the conference volleyball ranks for the first time since 2004, while Sweet Briar College has transitioned its program to club status. The ODAC alignment will experience further change in 2012 upon the introduction of Shenandoah University as a full-time conference member.
Randolph-Macon (27-8 overall, 9-1 ODAC) looks to All-ODAC First Team hitter Jessica Sears (360 kills, .256 att. pct., 489 digs) to lead the charge, especially following the graduation of two-time ODAC Player of the Year, Raena Winton. Sears, who was third in the ODAC with 3.13 kills per game, is joined by a pair of All-ODAC Second Team choices in hitter Mallory Carter (340 k, 52 aces, 334 d) and libero Marli Dabareiner (464 d). Carter’s 52 aces and 0.46 aces per game ranked second in the league, and Dabareiner’s 4.55 digs per game topped the league charts. Also back for another run is middle hitter Tori Puryear, who led the ODAC with 1.22 blocks per game (128 total).
Washington and Lee (28-7, 9-1) welcomes back a trio of All-ODAC First Team choices in hitter M.A. Boles (3.42 k/g, 48 aces, 343 d), middle Lindsey Dee (251 k, 122 blocks) and defensive specialist Cameron Hill. Boles, the 2010 ODAC Rookie of the Year, posted a league-best 424 kills, while Dee led the ODAC with a .344 hitting percentage. Hill collected a league-high 540 digs, good enough for 4.29 per game (third in the ODAC). Setter Meghan Meleski (716 assists) is joined by hitter Megan Daily (260 k, 2.39 k/g) in adding further punch to the Generals’ attack.
Lynchburg (17-11, 7-3) features several returning players including All-ODAC Second Team middle Rachel Huffman (190 k, .322 pct, 18 aces). She is joined by returning setters Brooke Moughon (568 ast) and Rachel Turk (302 ast), as well as middle Rebecca Loftis (181 k, .318 pct, 43 blocks), right side Marion Lozano (178 k, .329 pct) and hitter Elena Kritter (144 k, 33 aces, 260 d).
Virginia Wesleyan (22-10, 7-3) welcomes back its All-ODAC First Team performer from 2010 in hitter Kala Guy (307 d, 46 blk). Her 345 kills and 3.08 kills per game ranked fifth in ODAC, but her 55 aces were tops in the conference. She’ll be joined on the front lines by hitters Tempe Martens (113 k) and Alex Kirk (113) and middle Taylor Allen (178 k, 38 aces, 89 blocks).
Roanoke (21-7, 7-3) has three key seniors to replace from its 2010 squad, including first team choice Maggie Wagner. Looking to pick up the offensive slack will be All-ODAC Honorable Mention hitter Kelsey Largen (224 k, 31 aces, 230 digs) and middle Rachel Hawkins (112 k, 42 blk). Shannon Stone (442 ast) returns as the lead setter.
Bridgewater (15-18, 4-6) is under the leadership of new head coach Erin Albert, who welcomes back a bevy of returning players. All-ODAC Second Team middle Katie Baker (252 k, 38 aces, 75 blk) leads the way, with hitters Katie Long (155 k) and Cadie Castle (148 k) adding extra firepower. Setter Lindsay Kallam (925 ast) and libero Casey O’Leary (491 d) are also back in action.
Guilford (16-13, 5-5) is led by senior libero Taylor Phillips (428 d, 206 ast), who was tabbed All-ODAC Honorable Mention in 2010. Setter Taylor Whitley (662 ast) returns to the floor, but will be looking for new attackers to pass to following the departure of the Quakers’ top three scorers from 2010. Hitter Mary Moody (112 k) and middle Emma Gunn (42 blk) top the list of returning front line players.
Emory & Henry (10-17, 4-6) will also have a new mentor calling the shots in Dan Clodfelter. He enjoys the return of E&H’s top four scorers including All-ODAC Honorable Mention middle Kim Caudill (237 k, .282 pct, 96 blk). She’s joined by fellow middle Nicole Tesh (246 k, .298 pct, 95 blk) and hitters Morgan Grant (205 k, 55 blk) and Jamie Cockerham (206 k, 22 aces). Fallon Davis (742 ast, 27 aces) is back at her setter’s post.
Hollins, Randolph (7-21, 1-9) and Eastern Mennonite (4-21, 0-10) all look to make strides in 2011. Under head coach Jason Kozak, Hollins posted a 12-14 record in its first varsity season following a six-year hiatus. Ally Reed led HU in both kills (226) and digs (361) as she returns to lead HU into ODAC play. Randolph will look to Sam Sublett and Megan Wheatley to lead its 2011 squad. Sublett posted 118 kills and 29 blocks while Wheatley chimed in with 92 kills. Caitlin Glennen led the WildCats with 276 digs. Eastern Mennonite welcomes Lauren Reznik as its interim head coach for the 2011 campaign. The former Roanoke player welcomes back the Royals' top scorer in All-ODAC Honorable Mention hitter Tabitha Bowman (250 k, 219 d), as well as setter Jessica Goertzen (330 ast).
Listed below is the 2011 ODAC Volleyball Preseason Poll. For more information, visit any of the participating schools’ websites, or go to the ODAC’s home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com. Don’t forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook by clicking HERE. You can also follow the ODAC on Twitter by clicking HERE.
2011 ODAC VOLLEYBALL PRESEASON POLL
(#) Denotes First Place Votes
|1. Randolph-Macon (5)||95 pts.|
|Washington and Lee (5)||95 pts.|
|3. Lynchburg (1)||75 pts.|
|4. Virginia Wesleyan||72 pts.|
|5. Roanoke||69 pts.|
|6. Bridgewater||51 pts.|
|8. Emory & Henry||35 pts.|
|9. Hollins||27 pts.|
|10. Randolph||22 pts.|
|11. Eastern Mennonite||13 pts.|