Strantzali & Templeton Named Preseason All-ACC

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – For third-straight year, outside hitter Olga Strantzali and setter Haley Templeton earned spots on the Preseason All-ACC Team, as announced by the conference Friday.

Strantzali is expected to build on her phenomenal 2016 campaign, in which she led the ACC in total kills, kills per set, service aces and points per set. At the end of regular season, her 4.76 kills per set and 5.37 points per set ranked seventh and ninth in the country, respectively. Strantzali completed the season with AVCA All-America honorable mention, All-East Coast Region honors and a First Team All-ACC selection.

“I’m not surprised at all,” head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara said. “Olga had a terrific year last year and was a candidate for Player of the Year. We expect a great year from her as a senior.

Templeton, the 2014 ACC Freshman of the Year, will return to the Canes’ lineup after having her 2016 season ended prematurely by an injury. The Alpharetta, Ga., native, who was also named AVCA All-East Coast Region Honorable Mention in 2015, already has 2,499 assists to her name, ranking third in Miami history.

“Haley is poised to have her best year,” Gandara said. “She had a great spring, she’s healthy, one year more mature and understands her job and how she can help her team.”

Meanwhile, The U was picked to finish sixth in the upcoming season in a vote by the ACC head coaches, earning 136 points in the Predicted Order of Finish. The Hurricanes placed ahead of Duke, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Boston College and Clemson after posting a 8-3 combined record against those opponents in 2016.

“You never know what would come out of those polls,” Gandara said. “I’m more concerned about where we stand at the end of the season, but it’s a good start.

The Canes missed out on a top-five finish in the poll by four points, with the final spot in it taken by NC State. For the fourth year in a row, North Carolina will play the role of a favorite in the conference after gaining all 14 first-place votes for a total of 196 points in the poll. Florida State (169) and Pittsburgh (168) joined the Tar Heels in the top three, followed by Notre Dame (149) and the Wolfpack.

“In our conference, there are teams that could be in the top eight on any given night. I wouldn’t say that I am surprised by [our rank], but I am excited to start playing.”

Miami will open the season at the Southern Miss Invitational on Aug. 25-26, the first of four non-conference tournaments on the 2017 Canes schedule. The Canes will open the season on August 25 at 1 p.m., against Little Rock, before playing at Southern Miss at 8 p.m., that night. Miami will wrap up the opening weekend with a match against Nicholls State on Aug. 26 at 11 a.m.
 
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2017 ACC Volleyball Preseason All-ACC Team
Leah Meyer, Jr., MB, Duke 
Milica Kabura, Sr., OH, Florida State
Gabriela Stavnetchei, Sr., OH, Georgia Tech
Tess Clark, Sr., MB/ OH, Louisville
Molly Sauer, Jr., L, Louisville           
Olga Strantzali, Sr., OH, Miami
Haley Templeton, R-Jr., S, Miami

Taylor Fricano, Sr., MH/ OP, North Carolina
Taylor Leath, Jr., OH, North Carolina
Julia Scoles, So., OH, North Carolina           
Bree Bailey, GS, OH, NC State
Julia Brown, Sr., OH, NC State               
Sam Fry, Sr., MB, Notre Dame    
Caroline Holt, Sr., S, Notre Dame
Kamalani Akeo, Jr., S, Pitt      
Stephanie Williams, R-So., OH, Pitt             
Santita Ebangwese, Jr., MB, Syracuse               
Kylie Long, Sr., OH, Wake Forest                               

2017 ACC Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. North Carolina (196 points, 14 first place votes)
2. Florida State  (169 points)
3. Pitt (168 points)
4. Notre Dame (149 points)
5. NC State (140 points)
6. Miami (136 points)
7. Duke  (118 points)
8. Louisville (104 points)
9. Georgia Tech  (99 points)
10. Syracuse (75 points)
11. Wake Forest (69 points)
12. Virginia Tech (54 points)
13. Virginia (50 points)
14. Boston College (28 points)
15. Clemson  (20 points)