INDIANPOLIS, Ind. – The Blue and Red claimed a top spot in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Preseason Poll announced Thursday afternoon by the league office. The Hanover volleyball team finished third with 78 points and one first place vote.
The Panthers have now been picked in the top half of the conference preseason poll in each of the last ten years, including eight top three rankings and four first place predictions.
Under the direction of head coach Peter Preocanin, the Panthers landed a pair of All-Conference selections in 2018 including the HCAC Freshman of the Year pick, Kelsey Ketcham (Mishawaka, Ind.). Ketcham along with teammates Ally Williams (Fountaintown, Ind.), Carlie Burson (New Salisbury, Ind.) and Emma Rolf (Lebanon, Ind.) were all placed on the HCAC preseason players to watch list.
In the 2019 edition of the coaches' poll Transylvania claimed the top spot with 99 points and nine first place votes, followed by Rose-Hulman with 87 points. Bluffton landed tied for fourth place with Earlham earning 66 points.
Franklin (40), Anderson (39), Manchester (31), Defiance (22) and Mount St. Joseph (22) rounded out the preseason poll.
The Panthers open the 2019 season in Maryville, Tennessee at the Maryville College Invitational. Hanover will face Washington & Lee on Friday, Aug. 30 followed by tournament host Maryville before squaring off with Huntingdon on Saturday, Aug. 31.