CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - The University of Dubuque Volleyball team was chosen to finish third place in the Iowa Conference Coaches Preseason Poll. The Spartans return six starters and eight letter winners from last season's 15-20 team that finished fourth in the IIAC with a 4-3 league mark.
Wartburg College, which captured its second Iowa Conference title with a perfect 7-0 league mark, is the pick of the conference coaches to win the 2013 Iowa Conference volleyball title. The Knights received six of seven available first-place votes (coaches cannot vote for their own teams) for 55 points.
2011 champion Coe College received the two remaining first place votes and was not ranked lower than third on any ballot to take second in this year's poll with 50 points.
The University of Dubuque sits third with 38 points, while Loras College and Luther College each registered 36 points to tie for fourth. The complete 2013 IIAC Volleyball Coaches' Poll follows.
|Rank||School (1st Place votes)||Points||2012 Record|
|1||Wartburg (6)||55||32-6, 7-0 IIAC|
|2||Coe (2)||50||20-13, 6-1 IIAC|
|3||Dubuque||38||15-20, 4-3 IIAC|
|4||Loras||36||17-18, 5-2 IIAC|
|4||Luther||36||15-17, 3-4 IIAC|
|6||Central||26||9-20, 2-5 IIAC|
|7||Simpson||22||12-22, 1-6 IIAC|
|8||Buena Vista||17||6-26, 0-7 IIAC|
The Spartans will be led by sophomore outside hitter Klaudia Basierak (Hainesville, Ill./Grayslake Community), last year's IIAC Freshman of the Year. She posted a league-high 526 kills and ranked second on the team in digs (411) and service aces (45). Basierak also ranked sixth in the league in service aces. Junior middle hitter Amy Tranel (Hazel Green, Wis./Southwestern) led Dubuque with 78 blocks (17 solo) and ranked third with 232 kills. She ranked 10th in the league in blocks.
Junior setter Meggie Schmidt (Edgerton, Wis./Edgerton), who received all-IIAC honorable mention last season, posted team-highs with 1,134 assists, 447 digs and 47 service aces. She added 105 kills and 25 blocks (2 solo). Schmidt ranked fourth in the conference in assists (8.46 per set), fifth in service aces (0.35 per set) and seventh in digs (3.34 per set).
Dubuque head coach April Elsbernd says, "With no returning seniors on the roster, we will be young but will look to our juniors and sophomores with experience to lead the way. Success will be contingent upon how disciplined and focused the team can remain throughout the season. With a large and talented recruiting class, I'm excited for more depth and competition in the gym.
"As all of the programs in the Iowa Conference continue to improve, every night will provide fierce competition and intense matches. With several key players returning for their senior season, Wartburg should be a heavy favorite to repeat as IIAC champions."