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IWC volleyball picked 8th in preseason poll

Aug 20, 2013

The Iowa Wesleyan College volleyball team has been picked to finish eighth of 10 teams in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) Preseason Poll. The Tigers received 30 points in the poll.

Webster University was picked first in the poll, with Greenville a close second for the second straight year. Webster received 79 total points the poll, including ten first-place votes, while Greenville received 72 points and the remaining three first-place votes.

Webster and Greenville have finished in the top two spots of the regular season standings in each of the last two years, with both teams finishing last year with a 15-1 conference mark.

The biggest jump from last season’s finish to this year’s preseason poll belongs to Spalding University, which finished fifth last year and was picked tied for third this season, receiving 55 points. Spalding finished last year with an 11-19 overall mark and an 8-8 record in conference play.

Tying Spalding for third in the poll is Principia College, who finished tied for third in the 2012 regular season as well. The Panthers were 17-16 overall and 11-5 in the conference last season and bring back five starters.

Westminster College received 43 points in the poll, placing them fifth this year. The Blue Jays were 16-15 overall last season and 11-5 in the conference.

MacMurray College was picked sixth, receiving 39 points, after finishing 6-23 overall and 3-13 in the conference. The Highlanders return 13 players from last year’s team including five starters.

Fontbonne University was seventh in the poll (37 points) after finishing 2012 with a 9-20 overall record and a 5-11 mark in the SLIAC.

The SLIAC’s newest member, Iowa Wesleyan College, was picked in the poll to finish eighth, receiving 30 points.

Iowa Wesleyan finished last season with a 4-29 record and return just three players and two starters as they enter their new conference.

Senior outside hitters Lacie Tarver (from Mead, Colo.) and Kara Dennell (Kansas City, Mo.) will lead the way for the Tigers while newcomers Danielle Nelson, Kassie Vazquez and Dakota Flesner should see the court often.

The Tigers will look to mesh their small group of returners with a great group of newcomers as they enter the new conference.

“Tarver, Dennell, and Marissa Bozik (St. Peter, Mo.) should all play a key role to our success in 2013,” Coach Scott Weston said. “We have a great group of new faces coming in as well. I expect a great majority of them will be big contributors this season. Our key to success will be how rapidly we mesh together and all buy into the philosophy of ‘Excellence in all we do.’ Our expectations are sky high.”

Eureka College received 24 points in the poll to finish ninth. The Red Devils were 5-31 overall and 4-12 in conference play one year ago as they finished in seventh place in the regular season standings. Eureka brings back just four players and two starters from last year’s squad.

Blackburn College was picked 10th in the poll with 13 total points after a 2012 season in which they finished 1-28 overall and 0-16 in the conference. The Beavers return six players and three starters and welcome in new coach Suzannah Behnken.

The Tigers kick off the season on Aug. 31 when they travel to the Monmouth Invitational.

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