Wallace State’s volleyball team: Pictured are, front row, from left, August Newberry, Jamie Pittman, Alicia Charles, Cierra Davis, Kelsea Bivins, McCall Morrow, MaKenzie Bearden and Tara Miller; back row, from left, manager Savannah Beard, Abby Borden, Kati Thomas, Caroline Gann, coach Randy Daniel, Kaylee Maddox, Jessica Lucio, Macy Smith, Emily Wilson and Hillary Henderson.
HANCEVILLE – Wallace State’s volleyball team is ranked No.19 in the NJCAA Division I preseason poll, released Tuesday. The Lions are recognized in the Top 20 preseason ranking for the seventh time in eight years and will seek their eighth consecutive conference championship this season under coach Randy Daniel.
Returning Wallace State sophomores in 2016 are Kelsea Bivins, August Newberry, Cierra Davis, Tara Miller, MaKenzie Bearden and Jamie Pittman. McCall Morrow and Alicia Charles are sophomore transfers.
Bivins, Newberry and Davis were each 2nd-team All-ACCC selections as freshmen. Bivins, one of three Thompson High graduates on the roster, compiled 434 kills and 234 digs, Newberry had a team-high 642 digs and Davis added 290 kills and 270 digs.
Wallace State finished with a 39-8 record last season, capturing its seventh straight ACCC/Region 22 tournament title and eighth consecutive ACCC/Region 22 regular-season championship. The team made its seventh straight trip to the NJCAA national tournament in Casper, Wyo., and a conference-best 15th overall.
Wallace State opens the season on Aug. 23, hosting Shorter University in an exhibition match at Tom Drake Coliseum.
Daniel, entering his 10th season with the Lions, has a 332-76 career record at Wallace State. He is the all-time winningest coach in program history.
For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit http://athletics.wallacestate.edu/.