08/31/10 — MOC Fall sneak preview

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MOC Fall sneak preview

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 31, 2010 1:47 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Injuries have taken a small toll on the Mount Olive College men's soccer team in preseason practices, but head coach Jerry Riggs is optimistic about the 2010 campaign.

The Trojans return 15 lettermen off last year's squad and signed 11 players during the recruiting period. The numbers have led to competitive inner-squad scrimmages said Riggs, who spoke to MOC alumni, family and friends during the annual fall sports luncheon on Monday.

"It's been an interesting preseason so far," said Riggs. "The guys have been working hard, they've been very active and the fitness level is very good. We've got an energetic recruiting class that's given us some added depth."

Riggs along with fellow head coaches Cole Tallman (women's volleyball), Matt Hisler (women's soccer) and Matt van Lierop (men's and women's cross country) offered "sneak previews" of their respective teams. All five programs open their respective seasons later this week.

The men's soccer team entertains Florida Southern on Thursday at 7 p.m., while the women's soccer team is the guest of UNC Pembroke the same evening.

The women's volleyball team will play its annual Green-White scrimmage today at Kornegay Arena. First serve is 7 p.m. Tallman's squad, which includes nine freshmen, starts play in the Anderson (S.C.) University Invitational on Friday.

van Lierop's teams will play host to the Green-White Alumni Meet on Friday.

Red-shirt outside hitter Tiffany Hight and returning starter Kailey Preece lead the volleyball team. Hight and Preece will serve as co-captains this season.

"These two ladies are the backbone and foundation of our success in practice, which is going to help us when we start competition," said Tallman. "I am appreciative of them every day. I am looking forward to the season."

Hisler has no seniors on the women's soccer team. Returning starters and co-captains Lyndsey McIntyre and Tia Rose are expected to help groom several talented incoming freshmen.

MOC finished 6-10-4 overall a year ago.

"(McIntyre and Rose) have been fantastic from day one with great attitudes and a great work rate every single day," said Hisler. "We're very much looking forward to this season. We have a young team that's growing and a team that's changed a lot in the last couple of years."

van Lierop inked 20 recruits in the offseason. A majority of last year's runners return, which will give each team significant depth and a better opportunity to rise higher in meets.