Wittenberg Tops Preseaon Poll as North Coast Prepares For 29th Volleyball Season
Wittenberg University emerged as the preseason favorite in balloting by North Coast Athletic Conference volleyball coaches in the 2012 preseason poll.
The Tigers, who captured the program's first-ever National Title last fall, earned eight of the possible nine first-place votes from the league coaches to total 80 points. Hiram, which
earned the final first-place vote, finished second on the poll with 65 points, while DePauw (62) and Wooster (61) finished third and fourth, respectively. Kenyon also cracked the top five in fifth-place with 44 total points, followed by Denison (32), Allegheny (24), Oberlin (20) and Ohio Wesleyan (17).
Wittenberg will once again be led by head coach Paco Labrador. In nine seasons at the helm of the Tiger volleyball program, Labrador has compiled an overall record of 296-41 (.878), including an impressive mark of 114-2 in NCAC matches. The Tigers posted an overall record of 37-3 in 2011 and capped off their magical season with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 28-26) victory over Christopher Newport in the national championship match. Wittenberg returns six letterwinners and two starters from a year ago, including senior libero Christina Gilene (Milford, OH/McNicholas) and senior setter Hallie Donathan (Tipp City, OH/Tippecanoe). Gilene, who earned All-Great Lakes Region honors in 2011, recorded a team-high 603 digs (4.90 per set), while Donathan was a versatile member of the squad as she tallied 602 set assists, 195 digs and 23 service aces. In addition, sophomore Meghan Vodopich (Canton, OH/Massillon Perry) is also expected to provide key production in 2012 after she set the program record with 69 aces along with adding 628 set assists and 180 digs in her freshman campaign.
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.
|2012 NCAC Preseason Volleyball Coaches' Poll|
|(First-Place votes in parentheses, followed by points)|