Randolph-Macon Tops ODAC Volleyball Poll

Randolph-Macon Tops ODAC Volleyball Poll

Washington and Lee, Lynchburg Receive First Place Votes

FOREST, Va. --- Randolph-Macon College received eight first place votes as part of 118 total points to head the 2012 ODAC Volleyball Preseason Poll.  Washington and Lee University collected 113 tallies, including three top nods, and Lynchburg College gathered the remaining first place vote towards 101 points in the annual coaches' survey (full poll results below).

The Yellow Jackets saw their success continue in 2011 as they captured a third straight (third overall) ODAC title with a 3-1 win over host Washington and Lee in the conference tournament championship match.  R-MC won its opening contest of the NCAA Division III Tournament as it topped Johns Hopkins, 3-1, in first round action at Christopher Newport.  The Jackets season came to a close in a round two via a 3-0 decision to Emory University.

Randolph-Macon (24-6 overall, 9-1 in ODAC play in 2011) returns all five of its all-conference honorees from a season ago, including a pair from the All-ODAC First Team in senior outside hitter Mallory Carter (339 digs, 44 service aces, 25 blocks) and junior libero Marli Dabareiner.  Carter finished the season tops in the ODAC in kills with 443,  while Dabareiner led the league in digs (466) and digs per set (5.12).  Senior outside hitter Jessica Sears (244 k, 335 d, 23 sa, 33 blk) earned a spot on the All-ODAC Second Team and was named the ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete of the Year.  Junior middle Tori Puryear (215 k, 20 sa, 82 blk) and sophomore setter Bailey Troia (884 assists, 177 d, 21 blk) also return after earning recognition on the All-ODAC Third Team.

Washington and Lee (27-8, 10-0) and reigning ODAC Coach of the Year, Bryan Snyder, welcome back a pair of first teamers, including 2011 ODAC Player of the Year, junior outside hitter M.A. Boles (415 k, 351 d, 44 sa, 23 blk).  She's joined by junior setter Meghan Meleski (202 d, 45 blk, 25 sa), who led the ODAC with 1,016 assists and a 9.68 assists-per-set average.  The Generals will look to senior right side Taylor Maxey (122 k, 29 blk) and junior outside hitter Allison Rouse (143 k, 123 d, 25 sa) for added contributions.

Lynchburg (21-10, 7-3)  also features the return of two all-conference performers, including first team choice and 2011 ODAC Rookie of the Year, outside hitter Aricquel Payne (265 k, 213 d, 49 blk).  Third team selection, senior middle Becca Loftis (231 k, 75 blk), is also back in the fold, as are senior setters Rachel Turk (742 ast, 241 d, 43 sa) and Brooke Moughon (327 ast, 98 d, 23 sa).

Virginia Wesleyan College (14-17, 6-4) is led by two-time first team outside hitter Kala Guy (360 k, 340 d, 55 sa, 31 blk).  She's joined by senior middle Taylor Allen (222 k, 55 blk, 46 sa), sophomore setter Mallory Slade (397 ast, 132 d, 17s a) and senior outside hitter Kerry Johnson (182 k).

Bridgewater College (15-16, 6-4) and Emory & Henry College (14-13, 5-5) enter their second seasons under head coaches Erin Albert and Dan Clotfelter, respectively.  The Eagles will look to junior outside hitter Katie Long (243 k, 43 blk), senior middle Cadie Castle (194 k, 75 blk, 29 sa), and senior outside hitter Mara Hogan (168 k, 217 d) to lead the offense with senior libero Casey O'Leary (355 d) guarding the backline.  The Wasps feature a pair of all-conference athletes in second team senior outside hitter Jamie Cockerham (303 k, 206 d, 35 blk, 29 sa) and third team junior middle Nicole Tesh (205, 55 blk, .288 pct.).  Fellow middle, senior Kim Caudill (189 k, 77 blk), bolsters E&H's front row.

Guilford College (12-15, 5-5) is led by a pair of juniors in setter Taylor Whitley (814 ast, 171 d, 36 sa) and middle Malikah French (170 k, 59 blk, 34 sa).  They're joined by sophomore outside hitter Brittany DeCesare (124 k).

Shenandoah University (18-17, 9-9 in USA South play) joins the ODAC for its first season under the ODAC's banner as a full-time league member.  The Hornets return All-USA South Third Team junior middle Haley Smith (278 k, .308 pct, 84 blk, 21 sa).  Senior outside hitter Mary Harshman (279 k, 416 d, 30 blk) earned honorable mention honors in 2011.  Senior setter Kelcy Brown (598 ast, 219 d, 41 sa) is also back in Winchester.

Randolph College (11-15, 2-8) and Roanoke College (7-24, 2-8) look to climb back up the conference ranks in 2012.  The WildCats turn to a trio of sophomores to lead the way in outside hitter Jordan Templin (208 k, 230 d, 27 sa, 21 blk), middle Grayce Darden (168 k, 38 blk, 28 sa), and setter Kerry McMichael (662 ast, 138 d, 39 sa).  The Maroons are spearheaded by sophomore outside hitter Sarah Long (231 k, 169 d, 57 blk), senior setter Shannon Stone (722 ast, 210 d, 31 blk), and junior middle Samantha Klostermann (197 k, 182 d, 25 blk).

Both Hollins University (8-21, 3-7) and Eastern Mennonite University (7-20, 0-10) will be under new direction this season.  Hollins mentor Bill Shook welcomes back senior outside hitter Ally Reed (190 k, 346 d, 30 sa, 22 blk), sophomore setter Jessie Deese (344 ast, 133 d, 33 blk), and sophomore middle Lauren Hays (148 k, 59 blk).  The Royals and head coach Jeff Tyson feature the return of sophomore outside hitter Sara Ritchie (200 k, 181 d, 18 sa).

Listed below is the 2012 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 and follow @odacathletics on Twitter.

(#) Denotes First Place Votes

1. Randolph-Macon (8) 118 pts.
2. Washington and Lee (3) 113 pts.
3. Lynchburg (1) 101 pts.
4. Virginia Wesleyan 86 pts.
5. Bridgewater 83 pts.
6. Emory & Henry 64 pts.
7. Guilford 62 pts.
8. Shenandoah 40 pts.
9. Randolph 38 pts.
9. Roanoke 38 pts.
11. Hollins 37 pts.
12. Eastern Mennonite 12 pts.