PREVIEW: A mix of youth and experience on the court for Wesley Volleyball

PREVIEW: A mix of youth and experience on the court for Wesley Volleyball

DOVER, Del. - The 2017 edition of the Wolverines will have a mix of youth and senior leadership on the court, led by third-year head coach Lindsay Beiler.

"We have much more talent to work with this year with the new freshman, transfers and the upperclassman," Beiler stated. "All of the girls worked hard in the preseason and spring ball."

The experience shows in the front row with seniors Tionne Graves-Brown, Jessica Tynes, Codi Ziolkowski and Tania Rounds and sophomore Elisa Hackendorn.

Graves-Brown ranked seventh in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) in kills per set (3.13) and 14th in total kills (269). Graves-Brown is tops on Wesley's all-time career lists in points per set (3.2), attack percentage (.240) and kills per set (2.70). She is 38 kills away from topping Lilla Brekke (2006-09) on the all-time kills list.

"Tionne is very hungry to break Wesley's records and wants to prove herself as one of the best outside hitters in the CAC," Beiler said. "I also know that Tionne wants the team to succeed as well on top of her breaking records."

Tynes tallied 216 kills in 2016 to place second on the team while Ziolkowski added 174 kills, 50 blocks and 49 service aces a season ago. Hackendorn chipped in with 116 kills and 34 blocks during her freshman campaign while Rounds notched 68 kills and 15 blocks.

"Jessica and Codi have stepped up as captains during the offseason," Beiler said. "Tania improved tremendously during the preseason and in the spring. Tania will be a strong presence in the middle for us."

Sophomore Lindsay Burg returns as the primary setter for the Wolverines after leading the team in 2016 with 539 assists. Burg will also benefit the back row of the Wolverines, as she tallied 160 digs last season. Fellow sophomore Allison Mills joins Burg on the back row after seeing time in 21 games in 2016 and tallying 80 digs.

The Wolverines open the 2017 campaign in San Juan, Puerto Rico when they take part in the Puerto Rico Clasico over Labor Day weekend. The Wolverines will take on the Lasell Pride and Dickinson Red Devils on Sat., Sept. 2 and the Widener Pride and Wilkes Lady Colonials on Sun., Sept. 2.

"The players are excited to get away and travel to somewhere that most of them have never gone before," Beiler said. "This is something we have been building up for a year and a half and it is great that the kids can have to chance to do a trip like this. It will be a challenge to see how the players prepare for the trip so we can get the season started on the right foot."