TIFFIN - The Heidelberg University volleyball team was selected to finish 3rd in the 2014 preseason OAC coaches poll released on Friday. The Student Princes received 65 points and one first place vote, trailing only Ohio Northern with 75 points and Mount Union with 81 points and the other nine first place votes.
Coming off of a share of the OAC regular season title in 2013, Heidelberg looks to tackle the rugged conference slate and get back to the NCAA Tournament.
The Student Princes lose OAC Player of the Year Amber Welfle and All-OAC setter Alexa Frank to graduation. However, a wealth of talent returns to Sayger Court at Seiberling Gymnasium.
All-OAC Second Team honoree Sarah Parker returns for her sophomore season following a promising first season for the Tricolor. Parker notched 357 kills and 97 blocks in her freshman year.
Sarah Botts (122 kills, 40 blocks), Stephanie Romie (117 kills, 131 digs, 540 assists), Grace Samenuk (307 digs) and Jubilee Haase (384 digs) return for their senior seasons for the Student Princes.
Junior Jamie Kluding, given the nickname “The Silent Assassin” by the Seiberling Gymnasium public address announcer, is back after recording 249 kills and 209 digs as a sophomore.
Parker is one of five sophomore who saw extensive action as freshman. Joining Parker are Victoria Wiggins (82 kills, 50 digs), Janessa Scott (130 kills, 32 blocks), Megan Mills (187 digs) and Megan Flaherty (61 digs).
A talented crop of incoming students will challenge for playing time in the rotation.
As he has in years past, 2013 OAC Coach of the Year Jason Miller compiled a schedule that features some of the nation’s perennial volleyball powerhouses, including Washington (Mo.) on back-to-back weekends.
On the bench, assistants Kiara Ruffing and Amanda Atchison return. Frank will replace Jackie Reinhart as the team’s graduate assistant.
The season, which features seven home matches, begins at the Bluffton Spiketacular tournament on Friday, August 29. Conference action begins on September 16 against OAC semifinalist Otterbein.
2014 Preseason OAC Volleyball Coaches Poll
(1st Place votes in