After achieving winning overall records in consecutive seasons for the first time, the Albion College volleyball program is now setting a goal of earning a berth in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament.
Based on the pre-season coaches poll, the Britons will be in the mix for one of the four places in the tournament field. Albion was picked to finish fifth behind defending MIAA champion Calvin College, defending MIAA Tournament champion Hope College, Adrian College and Saint Mary's College.
"We are always looking to establish ourselves in the top tier of our conference," Kristin Slamer-de St. Aubin, '07, who is set to begin her sixth season as head coach at Albion, said. "We play in one of the best Division III conferences in the country and that forces us to set our expectations high."
Albion will build the team around junior libero Monica Shuk, a two-time all-MIAA second team pick who enters the season 156 digs shy of the all-time school record, and hitters Kelsey Gustafson, Marie Pregenzer and Taylor Rosenthal who combined for 500 kills last season.
"We have to be a good serve and pass team to achieve our goals," de St. Aubin said. "We also have to count on freshmen as setters to run a quick tempo."
Albion's season begins Sept. 1-2 with matches in the Kean (N.J.) Tournament. The Britons will make their home debut Sept. 8 against MIAA rival Trine University.
The complete MIAA preseason poll, with first place votes in parenthesis, follows: Calvin College (8) 64 points, Hope College (1) 55 points, Adrian College 49 points, Saint Mary's College 45 points, Albion College 34 points, Alma College 32 points, Trine University 19 points, Olivet College 17 points, Kalamazoo College 9 points.
Get the latest information on the team by following @AlbionVball on Twitter. General athletics news can be found @gobrits on Twitter and Albion College Athletics on Facebook