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Westminster on Thursday announced Dalton Tucker as the new head volleyball coach to replace Natalia Koryzna, who accepted a head coaching position at Division II St. Leo University last month.

Tucker was an assistant coach at Illinois College last season, helping the program to a 5-4 record in a 2020-21 season that was shortened because of the pandemic.

He has held various other coaching positions in his career. Tucker helped the Division II Illinois Springfield improve by 11 wins during the 2017 season and then helped Grinnell College to a second-place finish in the Midwest Conference in the 2018 season.

As far as experience in the SLIAC, Tucker was the associate head coach at MacMurray College in 2019, helping the program improve by eight wins and qualify for the conference tournament for the first time since 2005. MacMurray then upset top-seeded Greenville in the semifinals before being defeated by Westminster in the championship game.

"I am deeply honored to have been chosen as the next head coach to lead the Blue Jays volleyball program," Tucker said. "I am beyond excited for the opportunity to join the Westminster volleyball family. I can't wait to get started this fall and to continue building on the current success that's already underway."

The Blue Jays finished last season with a 13-3 overall record and an 11-2 conference record. They were able to climb to No. 10 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association national rankings in the week 2 polls — the highest ranking in school and SLIAC history. Westminster also shared the co-regular season conference championship with Greenville but lost to Greenville in the conference championship game. It was the second straight year the Blue Jays made it to the championship game, following the aforementioned victory against MacMurray.

As a player, Tucker was a three-time first team all-conference selection as a libero at Robert Morris University in Chicago. He was also a six-time NAIA National Libero of the Week and an honorable mention All-American.

"His background as an established club coach and experienced assistant coach in the college ranks makes him an excellent fit for our program," Westminster athletic director Matt Mitchell said. "His experience in our conference was also a big plus. With his experience and knowledge, I am excited about the opportunity for our volleyball program to continue its success for years to come with Dalton at the helm."

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