The Hiram College volleyball team continued its string of successful seasons in 2012 finishing 26-8 overall. It marked the ninth season with 20 or more wins in the past 10 years. The Terriers also made their 11th straight trip to the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament and will look to “reload” for another possible run at a NCAC Championship in 2013.
In a repeat of last season, Hiram will again have a lone senior in Danielle Day (Newbury). In 2012, Day led the team in sets played (119), service aces (40) and digs (669). She was second in the NCAC in digs and ranked 33rd nationally in digs per set (5.62). In addition, Day set a single-season record for digs, including equaling a school single-match record with 41 digs against Marietta on Sept. 15.
“Danielle will bring an element of experience and an understanding of Hiram volleyball tradition,” said second-year Head Coach Scott Carter. “We will look to her to be a mentor to the abundance of youth surrounding her.”
The remainder of the 2013 roster will be made up of a relatively young squad with three juniors, seven sophomores and seven freshmen. The team will look to juniors Tierra Moore(Canton/Canton South), Jennifer Yardas (Moon Twp., Pa./Moon) and Regina Zyle(Cleveland/Beaumont) to help provide leadership. Both Moore and Yardas are two of three returning players to earn All-NCAC honors last season with Moore garnering second-team accolades and Yardas tabbed as a honorable mention pick. Moore will look to repeat a standout first season with the program after playing in 118 sets last year and leading the team in set assists with 1,246 (10.56 a/s). Her 1,246 assists ranked third most in the NCAC and were the fourth most assists in a single season in program history. In addition, her assists per set average (10.56) was 17th best in all of Division III and third in the NCAC. To go along with setting up the offense, Moore also had 71 kills with a team-high 39.0 hitting percentage and was tied for fourth on the team in service aces (20), was fourth in digs (23) and third in total blocks (63). Yardas saw playing time in played in 94 sets and finished third on the team in kills with 224 and had a 24.4 hitting percentage. She was amongst the team leaders defensively with 29 blocks (seven solo and 22 assists) to go along with 26 digs. Zyle also continued to be a key role player for Hiram and is coming off a season that saw her finish second on the team in digs with 314 (2.75 digs per set) in 114 sets played. She was amongst team leaders in service aces with 19 and also recorded seven kills, 20 set assists and had two blocks (two solo).
Highlighting the returning sophomore players this season will be Emily Mortimer (Mogadore/Field) who posted an impressive first season as a Terrier which was capped by a honorable mention All-NCAC selection. In her “rookie” year, Mortimer played in 112 sets and was second in kills with 287 with a 32.2 hitting percentage. In addition, she was tied for fourth in service aces with 20. Defensively, Mortimer led the team and NCAC in blocks with 156. Her 156 blocks were the third most in a single season in program history. She averaged 1.39 blocks per set which was the third best in all of Division III. Joining Mortimer will be Logan and Lindsay Brewer (Barberton/Manchester), Ashton Webb (Wadsworth/Norton), Alyssa Zollos (Westlake) and Katie Barton (Newbury). Lindsay Brewer also had a solid freshman season with 111 kills (2.36 k/s) , four aces, 15 digs and 21 blocks (eight solo and 13 assists). Barton made an impact from her right side playing position in 2012 tallying 98 kills (1.58 k/s) with a 28.8 hitting percentage. She also went on to record 18 blocks (four solo and 14 assists) and 24 digs defensively. Logan Brewer, Webb and Zollos all provided depth last season at their respective positions and will look to battle for increased playing time this season.
“We have high expectations of our returning All-Conference players,” said Carter. “As our youth mature, we will be looking for all of them to play a critical part in our success. Every practice will be energetic and highly competitive. Our depth will allow many options throughout the season and will keep players committed to being competitive on a daily basis.”
The 2013 schedule begins at the College of Mount St. Joseph Kickoff Classic from Aug. 30-31 in Cincinnati. The Terriers return home to take on John Carroll University in the home opener on Sept. 4 before going back on the road for the Marietta College River City Classic and a dual match against Baldwin Wallace University. Hiram will open its NCAC schedule on Sept. 21 against Kenyon College in a home match at Price Gymnasium.
“We have put together a very challenging and diverse schedule with the intention of preparing the team to compete for a NCAC Championship and a possible berth to the NCAA Tournament,” added Carter.