Volleyball receives national votes, set for five matches this week

Team circling up before match starts




HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover volleyball team will look to continue its historic start to the 2017 season this week with five more matches.

After winning four games at home last week, the Panthers are 8-0 for the first time in program history and will welcome Thomas More (Ky.) to Collier Arena Wednesday evening, before traveling to compete in the DePauw (Ind.) Invitational this weekend. Hanover is one of just 28 teams in NCAA Division III that are still unbeaten this fall.

The Panthers, who have never been in the Top 25 of the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Poll, are in the receiving votes category this week after recording seven votes.

Highlighting the trip this weekend will be a contest against the host, as the Tigers are also in the receiving votes category of the AVCA Top 25 Poll and boast a 6-2 record this fall.

Behind 25 kills and a .372 hitting percentage last week, senior Courtney Crawford (Louisville, Ky.) earned her first career HCAC Player of the Week award. Crawford posted 22 kills in the home invitational, including 10 in the 3-1 victory over Ohio Wesleyan last Saturday.

On the season, Crawford has a .361 hitting percentage, which tops the HCAC and is among the top 60 in the nation. The senior’s career hitting percentage of .351 is the second highest among all active NCAA Division III players and inside the top 25 of all active NCAA athletes, regardless of division.

Senior Kristin Goben (Finchville, Ky.) leads the team in kills per set at 2.17. The senior has 63 kills in eight matches, including double digits kills twice in 2017.

Also recording at least 60 kills in the first eight matches this season is junior Margo Main (Ann Arbor, Mich.). Main, who joined Crawford on the Hanover Invitational All-Tournament team, has posted seven or more kills in each of her last three appearances.

Hanover has been one of the best offensive teams in the country this season, ranking in the top 40 in kills per set (13.03) and hitting percentage (.236).

The Panthers will be entering the DePauw Invitational for the third time in four seasons. Hanover went 1-3 during the event last year, defeating Trine (Ind.) in three sets, while also taking then No. 6 Hope (Mich.) to five sets.

The Blue and Red open the DePauw Invitational against two Ohio institutions in Mount Union and Muskingum Friday, Sept. 15, before closing with DePauw and Wheaton (Ill.) Saturday, Sept. 16.

Hanover hosts Thomas More for its first match of the week at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 13. The Panthers have won in five sets each of the past two meetings with the Saints.

Contact: Tyler Jester


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