GRAND FORKS — One year after finishing fifth in its first-ever Summit League season, the University of North Dakota was voted to sixth place in The Summit League Preseason Coaches Poll on Wednesday, Aug. 21.
Additionally, middle hitter Lexi Ahrens and right side Ashley Brueggeman were named to the players to watch list ahead of the season.
Brueggeman, the lone senior on the Fighting Hawks roster in 2019, averaged 2.5 kills per set, as well as 2.85 points per set last season. The Eden Prairie, Minnesota product enters the season with 852 career kills, a mere 148 shy of becoming the 18th student-athlete in North Dakota athletics history to reach 1,000 kills.
As a freshman last season, Ahrens finish second on the team in hitting percentage with a clip of .235. She averaged 1.89 kills per set and just over two points as well. In 16 appearances, the Virginia, Minnesota native also accounted for 0.64 blocks per set to finish fourth on the team.
While the University of North Dakota finished 14-18, including a 6-9 clip in the Summit League, UND will be led by Jeremiah Tiffin this season. Tiffin was announced as the 13th head coach in program history on May 29 after arriving in December 2018 as the associate head coach/recruiting coordinator.
Tiffin spent four seasons at Our Lady of the Lake in San Antonio, Texas, where he led the Saints to three NAIA Tournament berths in four seasons. He led his teams to an 88-37 record overall, and a 50-5 record in Red River Athletic Conference play.
The Fighting Hawks will open the regular season Friday, Aug. 30 at the University of New Orleans Tournament, taking on the host Privateers and Arkansas Pine Bluff on the opening day of the season.