Volleyball coaches put Hanover on top

HCAC Volleyball Poll

Hanover, 88 (2)

Transylvania, 83 (3)

Bluffton, 76 (2)

Mount St. Joseph, 74 (1)

Rose-Hulman, 71 (2)

Defiance, 48

Anderson, 38

Manchester, 35

Earlham, 26

Franklin, 11

The Hanover College volleyball team has been picked to capture the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's 2012 title.

Hanover, which returns two starters from last season's league championship squad, received 88 points in a polling of the HCAC’s 10 head coaches, including two first-place votes.

Five schools received first-place votes in the preseason poll. Transylvania University (Ky.) received 83 points and three-first place votes to land second. Bluffton University (Ohio) grabbed 76 points and two first-place votes.

The College of Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) and the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology also nabbed first-place votes.

Hanover was 19-11 last season, including a 7-2 HCAC mark. The Panthers shared the league's regular-season crown with Bluffton, Mount St. Joseph, Rose-Hulman and Transylvania, and earned the top seed in the conference tournament.

Led by 14th-year head coach Peter Preocanin, Hanover will launch its 2012 season August 31-Sept. 1 with four matches at the Maryville College (Tenn.) Invitational.

The Panthers’ first home matches of the season will come Sept. 7-8 in the annual Hanover Invitational.

The squad will tip off its Heartland Conference slate Wednesday, Sept. 19, at Earlham College in Richmond, Ind.