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Wittenberg Selected As Preseason Favorite For 30th NCAC Volleyball Season

2013 NCAC Preseason Volleyball Coaches' Poll  

Wittenberg University emerged as the preseason favorite in balloting by North Coast Athletic Conference volleyball coaches in the 2013 preseason poll.

The Tigers, who claimed a share of their 18th NCAC volleyball title last fall with a perfect 8-0 record against NCAC foes, earned eight of the possible nine first-place votes cast from the league coaches to total 80 points. DePauw, which finished  in second-place a year ago with a 7-1 record, finished second in the poll with 69 points, while Hiram captured the final first-place vote and finished third with 66 points. Denison (53) and Wooster (45) rounded out the top-five in fourth- and fifth-place, respectively, followed by Ohio Wesleyan (28), Kenyon (25), Oberlin (23) and Allegheny (16).

Wittenberg will again be under the leadership of head coach Paco Labrador. In 10 seasons at the helm of the Tiger volleyball program, Labrador has compiled an overall record of 323-46, including an impressive mark of 122-2 in NCAC matches. After winning the program's first NCAA Division III national title in 2011, the Tigers finished the 2012 season with an overall record of 27-5 and finished as the runners-up in the Calvin Regional, falling to the host, 3-2, in the regional championship match. Wittenberg returns six letter winners and four starters from a year ago, including NCAC Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year award winner, sophomore Kara Seidenstricker (London, OH/Jonathan Alder) {right} and senior middle hitter Andrea Behling (Columbus, IN/North). Seidenstricker, who was the AVCA National Freshman of the Year recipient and a member of the AVCA All-America team, racked up 367 kills, 66 blocks and 36 service aces in 2012, while Behling, the 2012 NCAC Tournament Most Valuable Player, was a threat on both the offensive and defensive side as she posted 305 kills, 78 blocks, 75 digs and 23 service aces.

Founded in 1983, the North Coast Athletic Conference is made up of ten academically selective colleges and universities - Allegheny College, Denison University, DePauw University, Hiram College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College, Wittenberg University and the College of Wooster, along with affiliate member, Earlham College (field hockey).  The NCAC sponsors 23 championship sports, 11 for men and 12 for women.

2013 NCAC Preseason Volleyball Coaches' Poll
  (First-Place votes in parentheses, followed by points)  
1. Wittenberg (8) 80
2. DePauw 69
3. Hiram (1) 66
4. Denison 53
5. Wooster 45
6. Ohio Wesleyan 28
7. Kenyon 25
8. Oberlin 23
9. Allegheny 16