SSU volleyball picked 6th in MSC poll

PORTSMOUTH — The Shawnee State University volleyball team was selected to finish in sixth in the 2021 MSC Preseason Coaches Poll, according to the preseason poll which was released from Friday morning.

Shawnee State, which claimed 64 points, finished right in the middle of the pack in the stacked conference race.

Lindsey Wilson’s 121 points and 11 first-place votes led all teams, while Life (Ga.)’s 109 points allowed the Running Eagles to finish second.

Life claimed the additional first-place vote.

Georgetown (Ky.)’s 99 points, Campbellsville (Ky.)’s 89 points and Tennessee-Southern’s 74 tallies allowed that trio to claim the third through fifth positions.

SSU was followed closely by Cumberland (Tenn.)’s 59 tallies, Cumberlands’ (Ky.) 50 markers, Thomas More’s 48 notches and Bethel (Tenn.)’s 42 points — as that quintet rounded out slots six through 10.

Freed-Hardeman’s 26 points and Pikeville’s 11 tallies closed out the poll.

The 2020 season, which was Devan Scarberry’s first as a head coach, proved to be a very impressive one for the 2015 SSU alum.

Working through a global pandemic and limited depth on the roster, Scarberry led Shawnee State from an 8-27 record in 2019 to a much stronger 11-12 mark in 2020 — with SSU winning three additional matches than the season prior despite playing in 12 less affairs.

Maria Kolinoff surpassed 1,000 assists for her career, while Macie Rhoads eclipsed 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in the same campaign, making the latter only the third player ever in SSU history to join the 1,000-1,000 club.

Rhoads also earned first-team all-MSC honors for the second season in a row, won four Mid-South Conference Attacker of the Week honors, was named to the AVCA and NAIA Honorable Mention All-America teams, and was named a CoSIDA Academic all-district nominee to top off her fantastic spring.

Both players are back from a group that returns 10 of its 11 letterwinners — including frontline standouts Bella Gill, Bethany Colling and Nashail Shelby, libero Emilee Cochran, and interchangeable pieces in Alli McQuay, Maddie Payne, Darian Fiesler and Madison Rowe.

Depth will also not be an issue for the 2021 version of the club, as Abbie Kallner — who recorded over 2,000 assists for her career at Wheelersburg — and Kayla Hammerele add needed depth to the setting position.

Haidyn Wamsley and Olivia Fliehman are expected to play a great deal of time all over the court throughout their SSU careers, while Emily Boggs will be a strong rotational piece — both on the front line and defensively as her career progresses.

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