August 20, 2014

Wittenberg Tops Volleyball Preseason Poll

2014 NCAC Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll

Wittenberg University has once again been tabbed as the preseason favorite after balloting by North Coast Athletic Conference volleyball coaches in the 2014 preseason poll.

The Tigers, who earned their 19th league title last fall after posting a perfect 8-0 record against conference foes, earned seven of the possible nine first-place votes cast from league coaches to total 79 points. DePauw, which earned an at-large invitation into the 2013 NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament, picked up one of the final two first-place votes and finished second in the poll with 71 points, while Hiram collected the final first-place vote and finished third with 65 points. Denison tallied 55 points and finished fourth, followed by Oberlin (37), Wooster (35), Kenyon (23), Ohio Wesleyan (22) and Allegheny (18).

Wittenberg will be under the leadership of 12th year head coach Paco Labrador this fall. In 11 total seasons with the Tigers, Labrador has compiled an overall record of 348-55 (.859), which includes a mark of 130-2 against NCAC opponents. Five starters return to the court for the Tigers this fall, led by junior All-American right-side hitter Kara Seidenstricker (London, OH/Jonathan Alder) and senior setter Meghan Vodopich (Canton, OH/Perry). Seidenstricker, the 2012 NCAA Div. III Freshman of the Year, was among the league leaders in several different statistical categories last fall, finishing first in service aces (67), third in kills (329) and sixth in hitting percentage (.290). Vodopich provides versatility for the Tigers on the court after finishing the 2013 season with 1,079 set assists, 289 digs, 188 kills, 35 service aces and 35 total blocks.

Founded in 1983, the North Coast Athletic Conference is made up of ten academically selective colleges and universities - Allegheny College, Denison University, DePauw University, Hiram College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College, Wittenberg University and the College of Wooster, along with affiliate member, Earlham College (field hockey). The NCAC sponsors 23 championship sports, 11 for men and 12 for women.

2014 North Coast Athletic Conference Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses, followed by total points)

1. Wittenberg (7)
79
2.
DePauw (1)
71
3.
Hiram (1)
65
4.
Denison
55
5.  
Oberlin
37
6.
Wooster
35
7.
Kenyon
23
8.
Ohio Wesleyan
22
9.
Allegheny
18