SALEM, Va. -- The 2000 Washington and Lee volleyball and women's cross country teams were recently named the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) preseason favorites for the upcoming season in voting conducted by the conference's coaches. W&L's men's cross country team was tied for third in the voting, while the women's soccer team was picked to finish fourth overall and the men's soccer team was predicted to finish sixth.
The volleyball team returns the majority of its 1999 squad which finished the season with a 22-7 record and advanced to its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth. The Generals return five starters and 10 letterwinners from last year, including the reigning ODAC Player of the Year in junior Lindsay Ruckert (New Orleans, La./Sacred Heart). The Generals have won 23 consecutive conference matches and are shooting for their fifth ODAC championship in the last six years.
The women's cross country team also returns a number of experienced athletes from last season's ODAC Champion squad. The Generals feature 14 returning letterwinners, including three All-ODAC runners in sophomore Burke Duncan (Oklahoma City, Okla./Casady), senior Kathleen Moroney (Hampton Bays, N.Y./Hampton Bays), and senior Jessica Parrillo (Titusville, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central).
W&L's men's cross country team welcomes back its top four runners from last season's fourth place squad. The list includes a pair of All-ODAC harriers in juniors Rob Naftel (Birmingham, Ala./Mountain Brook) and Ken Jackman (Wyckoff, N.J./Ramapo).
Coach Jan Hathorn's women's soccer squad may be selected to finish fourth overall but will have plenty of experience to work with as 10 starters and 14 letterwinners make their way back to Lexington. The Generals finished 11-7 overall last season, 8-3 in the ODAC, and advanced to the ODAC Tournament Semifinals for the 11th straight year. Senior All-ODAC players Shana Levine (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) and Liz Olson (Brookfield, Conn./Loomis-Chaffee) will be back in addition to All-ODAC junior Kate Bidwell (Pensacola, Fla./Escambia).
The W&L men's soccer team welcomes back 25 letterwinners from its 1999 squad that posted a 9-8 overall record, 6-3 in the ODAC. However, gone is the program's second all-time leading scorer in Jamie Parker (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland). Junior Paul Wallace (Roanoke, Va./Patrick Henry) returns from a season-ending knee injury suffered last season. Wallace was the 1998 ODAC Rookie of the Year.