ROCK HILL — The Newberry Wolves’ volleyball team has been predicted to finish seventh in the South Atlantic Conference this season as the annual preseason coaches’ poll was released Monday. Sophomore Logan Hayward has been named second team preseason all-SAC.
The Wolves are coming off a strong 2013 campaign where they advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season.
Newberry finished the season with an 18-13 overall record and 12-10 in the South Atlantic Conference.
The South Atlantic Conference coaches have predicted the Wolves will finish behind eight-time defending champion Wingate, Tusculum, Lincoln Memorial, Anderson, Lenoir-Rhyne and Queens. Carson-Newman, Catawba, Mars Hill, Brevard and Coker round out the poll. Wingate, Tusculum, Anderson, Queens and Newberry all advanced to the NCAA Regional Tournament last season.
Newberry returns all of its starters except for two and adds a strong recruiting class to one of the winningest teams in Newberry volleyball history.
Hayward, a sophomore from Sylvania, Ohio, is coming off a strong freshman campaign. She played in all 31 matches, finishing second on the team with 271 kills and 2.17 kills per set. She was fourth in the SAC with 17 solo blocks. She recorded 12 matches with double digit kills on her way to earning a spot on the SAC All-Freshman team.
The Wolves begin the season by hosting the Newberry College Invitational Sept. 5-6. SAC play begins on the road at Lenoir-Rhyne on Sept. 16, and the first home conference match will be on Sept. 19, against Mars Hill.