2018 Volleyball Preview

Photos courtesy of Doug Sampson.
Photos courtesy of Doug Sampson.

TIFFIN -- Entering his 19th season at the helm of Heidelberg Volleyball is coach Jason Miller, who looks to welcome back a strong core of impact players for the 2018 season.

Aiming to lead the way on the front line are returning All-OAC outside hitters, senior Morgan Strenk and junior Taylor Valentine. Strenk compiled 323 kills, 159 digs, and 41 total blocks enroute to a first-team selection, while Valentine added 267 kills, 222 digs, and 28 total blocks as a honorable mention honoree in 2017. Junior Anna McNabb will facilitate the offense as she hopes to improve upon her 1,054 assists and second-team OAC selection from last year. Coach Miller will also hope to see a sizeable offensive contribution from senior, Laura Schrag, who contributed 222 kills last season. Finally, senior Katie Keegan will look to have an increased role this season on the front line.

Defensively, the Student Princes will look to fill the void left by 2017 All-American, Rachel Raimondo. Hoping to do so, will be seniors, Sydney Moore and Taylor Arbogast. Moore compiled 305 digs in 2017 alongside Raimondo, and Arbogast will be looking to add to her 285 digs as a junior. Moore will hope to eclipse the 1,000 career dig mark this season as she is only 231 away from the milestone.

THE SCHEDULE: Heidelberg will look to start their 29-game season this Friday in Richardson, Texas at the UT-Dallas Labor Day Tournament, before welcoming Ohio Wesleyan on September 4 for their home opener. The Student Princes will host the No One Fights Alone Invitational at Seiberling Gymnasium on September 21-22, which serves to spread awareness for cancer research and all entry fees will be on a donation only basis. Heidelberg will open conference play on September 29 with a home contest against Wilmington before concluding their season on the road on October 27 at Muskingum.  In total, Berg will host 12 matches in Tiffin this year.

IN THE POLLS: Heidelberg was selected to finish fourth in the OAC preseason poll this season with 55 points. Ohio Northern, who comes into the 2018 season ranked No. 19 in the AVCA Coaches Poll, was picked to finish first with 79 points and seven first-place votes. Defending OAC Tournament Champion, Otterbein was picked to finish second with 74 points and three first-place votes. Mount Union was seeded third with 62 points.

ROSTER BREAKDOWN: Coach Miller will look to begin the season with 32 ladies. By position -- seven defensive specialists, nine middle hitters, three right side hitters, and four setters. By class -- five seniors, eight juniors, four sophomores, and 15 freshmen. By country/hometown -- USA: Ohio (27), Michigan (2), California (1), Iowa (1).    

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