AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – No. 11 Mount Union's volleyball team is the top-ranked team in the Ohio Athletic Conference preseason coaches polls, the league announced on Thursday.
The Purple Raiders, who were picked No. 11 in American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III preseason poll, received 80 points and eight first-place votes. They edged out Otterbein, who received 72 points and two first-place votes, for the poll's top spot. Ohio Northern claimed third with 67 points.
Picked to finish first in the conference a season ago, the Raiders won the OAC regular season title for the second consecutive year and advanced to the NCAA Tournament they reached the second round.
Eighth-year head coach Leigh Ann Swartz returns a veteran core, including six starters, from last year's squad that recorded the second-most wins in program history (27-7) and posted a perfect 9-0 in conference play.
"It's an honor to be recognized by the OAC coaches as preseason favorite, but it is just a prediction," Swartz said. "We feel the target on our backs and are excited and focused to face every challenge on our schedule."
No. 11 Mount Union begins its season at the Cortland State Red Dragon Classic in Cortland, N.Y. on Friday, August 30 and Saturday, August 31.
OAC Preseason Coaches' Poll
* First place votes in parenthesis