BAY CITY, Mich.—The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) released its 2014 Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll today (August 14) in conjunction with the launch of the conference's media day website.
The Lake Erie College volleyball team was voted to finish eighth in the GLIAC South Division.
Ashland University was voted to finish first in the South Division, receiving 48 points with six first-place votes. Hillsdale College received a total of 43 points and the remaining two first-place votes to finish in second. The University of Findlay received 38 points to finish third, Ohio Dominican University finished fourth with 29 points and Malone University finished fifth with 28 votes. Tiffin University, Walsh University and the Storm rounded out the rest of the division, respectively.
Grand Valley State University was projected to win the North Division, receiving seven first-place votes while Ferris State University received the first-place vote.
The poll was released as part of the conference's media day website, which features previews from all GLIAC teams and brief interviews with each head coach and can be found here.
The Storm returns seven members from last year's team. Sara Aultz (Wooster, Ohio/Orrville) will lead the Storm's offense after a successful junior season as a middle hitter. Aultz was third on the team in kills last year with 145 while leading the Storm with 32 blocks. The Storm also returns setter Samantha Knepley (Munith, Mich./Stockbridge). Knepley totaled 615 assists last season (6.76 per set) while tallying 117 digs. Defensively, junior Kathryn Ferry (Lima, Ohio/Lima Central Catholic) will anchor the Storm from the defensive specialist spot. Last season, Ferry was second on the team with 209 digs. In addition to Aultz, Knepley and Ferry, DS/S Mallory Gustincic (Medina, Ohio/Medina), DS Jamie Riley (Prospect, Ohio/Olentangy), OH Mikaela Lengal (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick/Ashland) and MH Brittany Lucas (Beaver, Pa./Beaver Area) return for the Storm.
The Storm adds six freshmen to the team this season. Asya Hobbs (Lynwood, Ill./Bishop Noll), Bethany Fisher (Orrville, Ohio/Dalton), Mackenzie Honn (Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson) and Madison Russell (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville South) look to improve the Storm's offensive barrage as middle and outside hitters. Sidney Fletcher (Saline, Mich./Saline) and Graesyn Engler (Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysburg) join the Storm as defensive specialists, adding depth to the Storm's defensive front.
The Storm opens their season on Sept. 5 against Bloomfield University and Lock Haven University.