Volleyball: 2014 Preview

Friday, August 29, 2014

The 2014 Titan volleyball team, under 22nd-year head coach Tammy Swearingen, looks to build off the 2013 season where it posted a 26-9 overall record, including a 12-6 mark and a fourth place finish in the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC). Westminster's 26 wins marked the most since 2002.

"I am very excited for the 2014 season for Titan volleyball," Swearingen said. "We are very young and inexperienced, yet very aggressive and hungry for success."

A three-time PAC champion, Westminster returns four letterwinners; including seniors middle blocker and outside hitter Kassie Freyermuth and outside hitter Alaura Hanseen.

Freyermuth has been a continual contributor since she arrived on campus. Freyermuth has averaged 181 kills, 89.3 digs, and 114.3 blocks per season the past three years. Freyermuth ranked ninth in the PAC last year hitting .268.

"I am looking forward to seeing our seniors take charge this year," Swearingen said. "Kassie and Alaura are playing very well right now and I expect them to have a great senior season. If we can keep Haley Turner healthy, I believe she will bring some additional offense to the team."

Swearingen added that juniors Erin Kennedy, Tiffany Jackson, and Kelsey Kilbane and sophomore Lauren Slater have "returned in the best physical condition ever and are battling for court time" and that she looks forward to sophomore Megan Little "returning to the court to solidify the defense."     

All five of the 2013 Titan All-PAC honorees have graduated, creating spots for the newcomers. Newcomers middle hitter Alexa Yoho, middle blocker Kendell Dickson, and setter Anna Thompson will all have an opportunity to make an immediate impact for 2014 Titan squad after having decorated high school careers. Yoho, a two-time all-conference and two-time all-section honoree at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, was named on the Finest 40 All-State team twice. Dickson, who was named all-district and all-state at Cochranton, earned the District 10 and Region 2 Player of the Year honors. Thompson was a three-time all-district and three-time all-conference recipient at Tuscarawas Central Catholic. Callie Jacobs and Hannah Washek round out the strong first-year class.

Westminster was picked to finish fourth in the 2014 PAC Preseason Coaches' Poll.

"Unfortunately we have taken some unexpected hits this year in losing three key players with injuries, including senior Julie Powell, junior Megan Prybyl and sophomore Katie Pricener," Swearingen said. "We can't replace the experience that we lost along with the six seniors who just graduated. We can and are focusing on playing hard and upholding the Titan Tradition."

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 379 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

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