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Madonna Volleyball Picked to Win 10th Straight Title

Senior middle hitter Caryn Inman, a 2005 All-American, was tabbed co-Preseason Player of the Year by league coaches Wednesday.


LIVONIA, Mich. --  The Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) unveiled the 2006 volleyball coaches poll and preseason all-conference team today with defending champion Madonna University the unanimous choice to win their 10th straight conference crown. Madonna senior middle hitter Caryn Inman and Cornerstone University senior libero Julie Brusie were tabbed as the co-preseason Player-of-the-Year.

In a vote of all eight league coaches, Madonna, coming off a 48-2 record last season and No. 3 national ranking, received 64 total points and all eight first place votes, besting No. 2 pick Cornerstone who earned 57 points. The University of Michigan - Dearborn was picked third with 38 points while second-year WHAC volleyball member Indiana Tech was the fourth place pick. Aquinas and Siena Heights are the fifth and sixth pick while WHAC newcomer Davenport University was tabbed seventh and Concordia University eighth.

Inman and Bruise received four votes each to share preseason top player honors, with each coming off All-American selections in 2005.

Joining Inman on the preseason team from Madonna are senior middle hitter
Heather Spooner, sophomore outside hitter Lubovj Tihomirova and junior defensive specialist Jacqui Gatt.

The Crusaders enter the 2006 campaign fresh off a 48-2 record in 2005 when they advanced to the programs second ever NAIA 'Final Four' appearance and a No. 3 national ranking.

Inman and Spooner are the two seniors returning to that squad which replaces four departed senior starters and six total players who saw significant court time from last season.

If the preseason prognosis comes true it would mark the 10th straight WHAC volleyball title for Madonna and 20-year Hall of Fame head coach Jerry Abraham.  Inman would also become the second straight Player of the Year for Madonna and the fourth in the last five years.  Four MU volleyball players have won the postseason award as Inman would join Kelly McCausland, Shelley Stanton, Amanda Suder and Natalja Tinina.

The Crusaders will kick off their season Wednesday August 16th in what could be their toughest match of the season, a clash with a court full of All-Americans, the Madonna alumni team in the annual Alumni game at 7:00 pm in the Activities Center.  The regular season gets under way on August 24th with a home tilt versus Wayne State University.

Matt Fancett, Assistant Athletics Director - Media Relations/Promotions
(734) 432-5610