GREENWOOD, IND. -- The Defiance College volleyball team was picked to finish fifth in the preseason Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference coaches' poll that came out on Friday afternoon.
Defiance is coming off of a 2016 season that saw them finish 10-15 overall, but with a 5-4 mark in the HCAC and in a tie for fourth place in the regular-season standings. That was good enough for a berth in the opening round of the HCAC Tournament, where Defiance dropped a four-setter to Manchester (Ind.) University.
The Yellow Jackets and sixth year head coach Brie Brenner return a slew of young talent, including sophomore Emma Seitz (Toledo/Central Catholic), who earned All-HCAC and All-Freshman honors in her first year in the purple and gold, averaging 10.8 kills per match in HCAC action a season ago.
Also listed as a Player to Watch for DC is junior Marissa Windau (Castalia/Margaretta). Windau was an Academic All-HCAC selection in 2016, as well as a member of the HCAC All-Sportsmanship Team. She led DC in aces (35), while finishing second on the team in kills (199) and blocks (48).
Hanover is picked to win the HCAC with 98 of the 100 possible points, garnering eight first place votes. Bluffton was picked second with the other two votes to win the HCAC, followed by Transylvania, Rose-Hulman, and Defiance in the top five. Manchester, Franklin, Anderson, Mount St. Joseph, and Earlham are picked to round out the HCAC field.
DC opens the 2017 campaign on Friday, Sept. 1 with the beginning of the Ohio Northern Invitational, as they take on Carnegie Mellon University. The Yellow Jackets start HCAC play on Saturday, Sept. 30 with their home opener against Franklin College.