Panthers open NCAA Tournament action against Berry (Ga.)

Courtney Crawford and Kelsey Brandvik prepare to receive serve

HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover volleyball team will be in search of its first victory in the NCAA Division III National Tournament when they travel to compete in the Atlanta Regional.

The Panthers they would be traveling to compete in the eight-team regional, hosted by Emory (Ga.), Monday afternoon and will face Berry (Ga.) in the opening round of the national tournament at 3 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 9. The Regional Semifinals and Championship will also be held inside the Woodruff Physical Education Center Friday and Saturday evening.


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  • Hanover will be making just its second NCAA National Tournament appearance, with the only other trip to the Big Dance coming in 2007, where the team fell in an opening-round neutral site match against Washington (Mo.), 3-0.
  • The Panthers earned the HCAC's automatic berth into the National Tournament after defeating Rose-Hulman in the league's postseason championship match, 25-22, 26-24, 25-16.
  • Hanover has now appeared in three consecutive HCAC Tournament championship matches, all of which have come at home. The Blue and Red had dropped the first two tournament finals prior to defeating Rose-Hulman this fall.
  • The Panthers won just their second HCAC Tournament championship in program history this fall, with the other title coming in 2007, where the team defeated Mount St. Joseph at home, 3-1.
  • Over the past three seasons, Hanover is a perfect 27-0 in HCAC regular season matches. The Blue and Red are also 31-2 during conference regular season and tournament games since 2015.
  • Head coach Peter Preocanin recently celebrated his 300th career coaching win, with a 3-0 victory over Blackburn (Ill.) on Nov. 16. Overall, Preocanin has a 307-286 record at Hanover.
  • This will be the second straight season that the Panthers and Vikings (28-6, 14-0 SAA) will have met. Hanover won the neutral site meeting in 2016, in three sets, 25-19, 25-18, 25-23. Senior Kristin Goben (Finchville, Ky.) led the team with 12 kills in the victory, while junior Claire Dennis (Bloomington, Ind.) added six total blocks.
  • Dennis has been the best defensive player at the net in the HCAC this fall, as she enters the NCAA Tournament atop the conference statistical leaderboard with 1.38 blocks per set. Dennis has recorded at least five total blocks in 10 outings this season. 
  • Senior Courtney Crawford (Louisville, Ky.) has enjoyed an amazing career for the Blue and Red. Among all Division III active players, Crawford ranks inside the top 10 in career hitting percentage (.339) and blocks per set (0.93). She is also one of the top HCAC players in hitting percentage this fall, leading the team at .309.

Contact: Tyler Jester