The 2009 Central Missouri Jennies volleyball team will have a new leader for the first time in three decades as Flip Piontek takes the reins after many years as an assistant coach under legendary head coach Peggy Martin.
The Jennies finished 2008 ranked No. 11 in the nation and have now been ranked in every poll since 1986, a record 275 consecutive weeks. To keep that streak going, the young Jennies will look to leadership from the lone senior setter, Pankratz. Pankratz has more than 4,000 assists in her career and will finish as one of the all-time best setters at Central Missouri.
UCM returns five starters and nine letterwinners to a lineup that took third in the region last season. Sophomore outside hitter Allie Huffman should have another solid year. As a freshman, the Lee’s Summitt, Mo., native led the team with 454 kills. At rightside, Kelsey Ortwerthwill return as a starter after a solid 2008 campaign. The powerful lefty logged 200 kills and 167 digs playing in 108 games.
Flip takes the reins to one of the most successful programs in NCAA D-II. During his time at UCM, the team has compiled a 729-174 (.807) record overall, and a 278-36 (.885) mark in MIAA play. The Jennies have claimed 15 MIAA titles, and have been to the NCAA Tournament in each of his 23 seasons.
The Jennies open the season at the West Florida invitational this weekend where they will play the unanimous number one preseason pick Concordia-St. Paul, Minnesota.
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