Volleyball picked to win third straight HCAC crown
GREENWOOD, Ind. – The Hanover volleyball team has been picked by the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference coaches to win their third straight league title in 2017.
The HCAC Preseason Volleyball Poll was announced Friday afternoon with the Panthers taking the top spot for the second consecutive year. Hanover received eight first place votes en route to 98 total points.
Hanover is coming off a record-breaking 2016 campaign which saw the team go 25-8 overall and 9-0 in conference play for the second straight season. The team carries an 18-game regular season winning streak into conference play this season.
The Panthers have now been picked to finish in the top five of the HCAC for the eighth consecutive season. Four-time HCAC Coach of the Year, Peter Preocanin, brings back 13 players from the 2016 HCAC regular season championship team, including a trio of first team all-conference selections in seniors Courtney Crawford (Louisville, Ky.) and Emily Ertel (North Vernon, Ind.) and junior Claire Dennis (Bloomington, Ind.).
Bluffton, who has won four straight HCAC Tournament championships, grabbed the final two first place votes, totaling 85 points, for second place in the poll. The Panthers and Beavers will open conference action against each other this fall, with the clash scheduled for 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 30, inside Hanover’s Collier Arena.
Other 2016 HCAC Tournament qualifiers, Transylvania (73), Rose-Hulman (65), Defiance (63) and Manchester (59), earned the third through sixth spots respectively. Rounding out the remainder of the 2017 preseason poll was Franklin (46), Anderson (27), Mount St. Joseph (21) and Earlham (13).
Hanover opens the 2017 campaign at the Bluffton Sommer Spiketacular with four games over the first two days of September. The Panthers season opener will come against Heidelberg (Ohio) at 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 1.
2017 HCAC PRESEASON VOLLEYBALL POLL
|RANK||TEAM||POINTS (1st place)||2016 RECORD|
|1||Hanover||98 (8)||25-8 (9-0)|
|2||Bluffton||85 (2)||24-9 (8-1)|
|9||Mount St. Joseph||21||12-16 (2-7)|
Contact: Tyler Jester