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Tech picked fourth in OVC preseason poll, Dorsey and Isringhausen named Preseason All-OVC

Tech picked fourth in OVC preseason poll, Dorsey and Isringhausen named Preseason All-OVC

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Coming off its most successful season on the court in the past decade, the Tennessee Tech volleyball team saw some of the fruits of its labor ripen Wednesday morning as the Ohio Valley Conference announced its preseason predicted order of finish and the Preseason All-OVC Team for the 2022 campaign.

After racking up the most total wins (16) and league victories (11) for the program since the 2008 squad captured both the OVC regular-season and tournament titles, the Golden Eagles were selected fourth in the conference's most recent predicted order of finish. It marked the highest the purple and gold ranked on the OVC's preseason poll since also being selected fourth in 2011.

Tech secured a pair of first-place votes in the prediction selected by the league's head coaches and sports information directors, the first time securing a vote for the top spot since the 2011 campaign and most since collecting a pair heading into the 2009 season.

"It's exciting because it's nice to see us being recognized by the conference at a higher point than we have in the past," Tech head coach Jeannette Phillips expressed. "We've been working really hard to prove ourselves and earn a little trust and credibility from everyone else, so that is nice.

"Our team will be excited to see how they're ranked up and to see the challenge of the roadblocks ahead of them right now. We'll talk about how this is just a prediction, it's not the future. We'll make sure to put some targets on some backs and gear up for the challenge ahead."

Expected to lead the Golden Eagles in the 2022 campaign are a pair of returning All-OVC veterans and selections for this year's Preseason All-OVC Team, senior middle blocker Taylor Dorsey and sophomore outside hitter Madolyn Isringhausen.

Dorsey secured her third overall postseason honor and second straight First Team nod from the league after setting Tech's single-season, rally-scoring era record for block assists with 126. The Birmingham native also delivered the third-best single-season hitting percentage in the rally-scoring era by a Golden Eagle, sporting a percentage of 31.6.

Both were strong enough marks to pace the OVC in 2021, as were her 139 total blocks and 1.23 block per set. Dorsey collected OVC Defensive Player of the Week accolades three times during her junior campaign, establishing herself as one of the most lethal defensive players in the conference and program history.

"Taylor is such a workhorse," Phillips said. "Even in our preseason practices, where she's playing lights-out and doing so many amazing things, she still comes up to us and asks 'what am I doing wrong here?' It's so funny because her standards are crazy high at all times and that's why she's achieved what she has.

"She's never satisfied but always plays happy. Taylor's a great role model and it's really cool to see the rest of the team, and other middles especially, look up to her and see everything that she has achieved and how she goes about it. She just does her job for her team every day."

Enjoying a breakout season as a second-year freshman (after gaining an extra year of eligibility following the COVID-19 pandemic), Isringhausen locked down a spot on the All-OVC Second Team after pacing the purple and gold offensively in 2021. The youngster took home a pair of All-Tournament Team honors during the team's build-up to conference play last season, setting the stage for a huge year.

The native of Edwardsville, Ill. paced Tech with 364 kills and 3.19 kills per set, ranking seventh and eighth in the league, respectively. Her 3.79 points per set ranked her fifth in the conference while her 431.5 total points put her in the sixth position among her peers. She played well all around, sporting the team's second-most service aces (29), third-most digs (225), and fourth-most total blocks (64).

"Maddie has really stepped it up, not just on the court, but as a leader for our team," Phillips explained. "She is somebody who has high aspirations, not just for herself, but for the team as well. She gets more frustrated at herself than she does with any of her teammates. She asks a lot of them, but respects them and cheers them on. It's good to see her get some accolades and I definitely think she'll use this as fuel moving forward.

"She's someone that really benefitted coming in as a freshman, unfortunately having the COVID season, but then getting to replay that year and grow so much last year. Now she's in a place where she's so much more mature from a court IQ standpoint, leadership standpoint, and teammate standpoint. Maddie just knows how to execute so much more than she did a couple of years ago and she should have another exciting season."

Fans can get their first look at the 2022 Tech volleyball team Saturday afternoon as the team hosts its annual Purple/Gold Scrimmage at 2:00 p.m. CT in the Hooper Eblen Center. The event is free and open to the public.

The Golden Eagles are slated to kick off the 2022 season with a season-opening trip to Springfield, Mo. and the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational. Tech will square off with Central Arkansas at 10:00 a.m. CT and follow with a 6:30 p.m. match-up against tournament host Missouri State, both on Friday, Aug. 26. The event will conclude with a 12:00 p.m. tilt versus Oral Roberts on Saturday, Aug. 27.

2022 Preseason All-OVC Volleyball Team
(as Selected by OVC Head Volleyball Coaches and Sports Information Directors)

Leah Anderson, Southern Indiana
Zoey Beasley, Southeast Missouri
Tara Beilsmith, Southeast Missouri
Bridget Bessler, Morehead State
Taylor Dorsey, Tennessee Tech
Colby Greene, Southeast Missouri
Abby Hulsman, Morehead State
Madolyn Isringhausen, Tennessee Tech
Nedima Kamberovic, Little Rock
Gina Rivera-Ortiz, Tennessee State
Olivia Saunders, UT Martin
Karen Scanlon, UT Martin
Logan Wallick, UT Martin
Irene Wogenstahl, Morehead State

2022 OVC Volleyball Predicted Team Order of Finish
(as Selected by OVC Head Volleyball Coaches and Sports Information Directors)

1. Morehead State (Nine first-place votes) - 153
2. Southeast Missouri (Seven first-place votes) - 145
3. UT Martin (Two first-place votes) - 125
4. Tennessee Tech (Two first-place votes) - 120
5. Little Rock - 95
6. Eastern Illinois - 66
7. SIUE - 63
8. Southern Indiana - 48
9. Lindenwood - 43
10. Tennessee State - 42

(*Schools were not allowed to rank their own team. Nine points awarded for a first-place vote, eight for second, etc.)

Photos by Jim Dillon

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