CLEVELAND, OHIO — The Hiram College volleyball team was selected to finish second in the 2010 North Coast Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll that was release today (Wednesday, Aug. 25). [2010 NCAC Preseason Poll]
Hiram totaled 55 points to rank second of eight teams. Defending NCAC Tournament Champion Wittenberg University was tabbed as the unanimous favorite with 64 points and all eight first-place votes. The College of Wooster was third with 48 points and Allegheny (Pa.) College was fourth at 34 points.
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. Hiram returns 10letterwinners 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 after finishing second in the team in kills as a sophomore with 236, but led the team in attack percentage (.288) and blocks (97). 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). 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 is set to begin the season on Wednesday, Sept. 1 with a pair of matches at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea. The Terriers will take on the Yellow Jackets at 5 p.m., followed by a match against Walsh University at 7 p.m.
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.