Pair of locals named to preseason volleyball watch list

Four Franklin College volleyball players — including two from Jackson County — have been named to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference coaches preseason watch list for the 2014 season.

Junior Mackenzie Wieneke, a 2012 graduate of Seymour High School, earned first-team all-HCAC honors in 2013 after leading the league and ranking 13th nationally by averaging 5.81 digs per set. She also ranked 30th nationally in total digs with 639. Wieneke helped the 2013 defensive unit rank fourth nationally among NCAA Division III teams with 20.3 digs per set.

Junior Kourtney Settle, a 2012 graduate of Brownstown Central High School, tied with senior teammate Jordan Finke of Indianapolis with a team-high 67 blocks in 2013. Settle ranked second on the team with 234 kills, while Finke added 221 kills.

The other Grizzly to make the list is sophomore Ashley Bazier of Terre Haute. In 2013, she had 608 assists as the team's setter, was named to the HCAC all-freshman team, had 223 digs and compiled a .391 hitting percentage.

In the 2014 HCAC coaches preseason poll, Franklin was picked to finish in seventh place. In 2013, the Grizzlies won 15 matches, marking the most victories since 2005.

The Grizzlies open the 2014 season by participating in the HCAC-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Challenge on Aug. 30 and 31 at Manchester University.

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