HANCEVILLE — Wallace State’s volleyball team is ranked 16th in the NJCAA Division I preseason poll.

Wallace State cracked the top 20 preseason ranking for the ninth time in 11 years.

The Lions opened the season Thursday at Cleveland State, ultimately seeking their 11th consecutive conference championship under head coach Randy Daniel.

Returning sophomores for the Lions this season are Kaitlyn Doyle, Geraldine’s Karlee Hale, Kate Kent, Jordan Hollis, Kayla Thomas and Kaden Edenfield. Amryi Grace Paris is a sophomore transfer.

Doyle was an Alabama Community College Conference all-tournament selection as a freshman, racking 218 kills. Hale racked up 345 digs last season, the third-highest mark on the team. She added 150 digs.

“Kaitlyn Doyle is a self-motivated player and wants to play elsewhere when she’s done here,” Daniel said. “We’ll have to depend on her, Karlee Hale and the other sophomores to lead the way early on.”

Courtney Patterson, Tori Walker, Lauren Seibert, Mattrice Harris, Diamond Jones, Harlee Kate Reid, Laci Reese, Nia-Simone Miller and Anna Renshaw make up the 2019 freshman class.

Wallace State finished last season with a 33-9 record, capturing its 10th straight ACCC/Region 22 tournament title and 11th consecutive ACCC/Region 22 regular-season crown.

The team made its 10th straight trip to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament and conference-best 18th overall.

Daniel, entering his 13th season with the Lions, has a 437-98 career record at WSCC. He is the all-time winningest coach in program history.

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