Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- The St. Scholastica volleyball team has been picked to finish second in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) preseason coaches' poll, it was announced on Monday.
The team is coming off its first-ever NCAA Division III tournament appearance in 2011, where the Saints beat St. Benedict before losing to the eventual region champion St. Thomas.
St. Scholastica returns 2011 UMAC player of the year Anna Zyvoloski, who will serve as the team's co-captain along with Duluth native Taylor Tyllia.
"It's kind of nerve racking, because it's a new role," Zyvoloski said, "but I think Taylor and I have done a really good job of making sure everyone is included. All three of our other seniors have done a really good job, too."
For Tyllia, a former Duluth East Greyhound, the goal was helping the younger players make it through preseason, which is traditionally one of the toughest times of the year.
"We just have to keep everyone engaged and excited," Tyllia said. "Preseason is really hard, so we have to keep everyone excited and buying into what we're doing."
Head coach Dana Moore says her two co-captains have done a fantastic job thus far in the 2012 season, even if they are a bit different on and off the floor.
"The two of them together are two very different individuals who have become pretty tight friends," Moore said. "They've learned from one another, which has been really exciting."
St. Scholastica starts its 2012 season with a road trip to New York for a 12-team tournament, with the team's first game set for August 31 against Houghton.