HIRAM, OHIO — The Hiram College volleyball team is coming yet another successful season in 2009, marked by an eighth straight appearance in the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament championship match and will look for a repeat performance in 2010.
Last year, the Terriers recorded their sixth season with 20 or more victories in the last seven years. Hiram ended the 2009 campaign with a 23-10 mark, including an impressive 14-2 record in NCAC play.
Dempsey, who enters her 10th season as head coach at Hiram, is the winningest coach in program history with a 216-94 record. In 17 seasons as a head coach, Dempsey currently has a 348-233 lifetime mark.
Hiram returns 10 letterwinners this year, but did lose some experience in graduated seniors Charley McQueary, two-time first-team All-NCAC player Randa Jackson, Brittany Mayle and Lauren London.
Back to lead the Terriers this season will be All-NCAC juniors Shaina Bryan (South Euclid/Brush) and Kristi Opfer (Garrettsville/Garfield.). Hiram will also be led by senior setter Alyssa Coundourides (Brunswick/Parma-Padua Franciscan).
Up front, Opfer will anchor the middle hitters with support from juniors Andrea Kaminsky (Canton/GlenOak), Katie Rumora (Canal Winchester) and sophomore Katie Love (Moon Twp., Pa./Moon). Opfer was second in the team in kills as a sophomore with 236, but led the team in attack percentage (.288) and blocks (97).
Kaminsky was also amongst the team leaders in kills with 213. She was also third on the team in total blocks with 77. Rumora and Love both provided depth up front and had strong seasons with Rumora recording 47 kills and 29 blocks, while Love tallied 16 kills and 13 blocks.
At the outside hitter position, Bryan will lead the way. Last fall, she led the team in kills (305), was second in digs (343) and was fourth in blocks (42). In addition to Bryan, junior Megan Woodard (Saint Leonard, Md./Clavert) and sophomore Ariel Pund (Macedonia/Walsh Jesuit) will look to make an impact this season. Woodard had a solid year as a sophomore with 80 kills, 43 digs and 29 blocks. Pund was one of five players to record 200 or more kills last year with 209 to go along with 200 digs and 38 blocks. She was also amongst the team leaders in service aces with 12.
Setting up the Terrier offense will be Coundourides. Coundourides totaled a team-best 558 assists (4.69 assists per set) in 2009 and was also second in aces with 26. In addition, she recorded 173 digs defensively.
Hiram will have the advantage of having an experienced team in 2010 and should compete again for a possible NCAC Championship. The schedule for the Terriers will feature some highly competitive teams highlighted by the annual matches against powerhouse and 2009 NCAC Tournament Champion Wittenberg University. The Terriers will open the season on Wednesday, Sept. 1 in Berea at a quad match against Baldwin-Wallace College and Walsh University. Hiram will take on the Yellow Jackets at 5 p.m. followed by a matchup against the Cavaliers at 7 p.m. Hiram will also play host to the first of two NCAC Volleyball Weekends on Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 25-26 in which all eight schools from the NCAC will be in action.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, please contact Hiram College Sports Information Director Jeff Hoedt by phone at (330) 569-5495, by FAX at (330) 569-5392 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.