DOVER, Del. - After gathering 12 wins last season, second-year head coach Lindsay Miller is looking to lead the Wesley College Volleyball team to improvement in 2016.
The Wolverines nearly cleared a .500 record for the first time since 2013, but dropped four five-set matches last season. According to Coach Miller, one of the focuses of this preseason is focus and fitness.
Wesley returns senior setter Beth Schlecker to lead the squad. Schlecker served as a captain last season and set the program single-season record for assists (686) and assists per game (6.66). Schlecker became the program's all-time leader in assists last year with 1,214 and will likely become Wesley's first player to reach 1,500 career assists.
Tionne Graves-Brown leads the returning Wesley hitters. The junior was featured as the Wolverines' top weapon last season registering single-season program records in attempts (767), kills (283) and kills per set (2.92). Entering her junior season, Graves-Brown ranks sixth in Wesley's program history in career kills, fifth in career points, and second in kill percentage. The junior could break all three records with another strong campaign in 2016.
Alongside Graves-Brown at the net will be Jessica Tynes and Codi Ziolkowski, both juniors. Tynes finished last season as second on the team with 145 kills while Ziolkowski finished third with 141. Ziolkowski will likely be asked to step into more of a middle blocker role. She is Wesley's top returning blocker, stuffing 59 total blocks last season, including 12 solo roofs.
On the back line, Kristin Wissler will be asked to increase her role this season. As a freshman, Wissler saw time as a defensive specialist, finishing with 150 digs on the year. She is a top candidate to replace graduating senior Meghan Marshall as the team's libero.
Wesley will also look to five newcomers to contribute to the team's success in 2016. Allison Mills and Kaya Ziskay will step in on the back line as defensive specialists while Elisa Hackendorn and Morgan Tomme will jump into the rotation at the net. Lindsay Burg is listed as a setter and could rotate in with Schlecker if the Wolverines decide to run a 4-2 or 6-2 rotation.
The Wolverines begin their season on September 3 with the Greyhound Premiere Invitational hosted by Moravian College. The squad will then travel to Washington D.C. to compete in the Catholic University of America Invitational Tournament. The squad plays their home opener on Tuesday, Sept. 13 when they host Lincoln (Pa.) and will host a tri-match against John Jay and Washington Adventist on Sept. 18. Conference play begins on Sept. 30 with a trip to Penn State Harrisburg. The Wolverines will face Capital Athletic Conference opponents in eight of their 11 matches in October with hopes of qualifying for their first CAC postseason appearance in program history.
To view the CAC Volleyball Preseason Webcast, follow this link.