Wittenberg Volleyball Tabbed Preseason Favorites in 2018 NCAC Coaches' Poll

Wittenberg Volleyball ended its 2017 season as the NCAA Division III National Runner-Up.
Wittenberg Volleyball ended its 2017 season as the NCAA Division III National Runner-Up.

2018 NCAC Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll

CLEVELAND, Ohio - After finishing 2017 as the NCAA Division III Volleyball National Runner-Up and capturing its 11th-straight North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) tournament title, Wittenberg has been voted as the favorite in the 2018 NCAC Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll, released Wednesday, Aug. 22.

The Tigers earned eight of the nine first-place votes cast by league coaches for 80 total points. DePauw, which has been an NCAC Tournament Finalist four years in-a-row, garnered the final first-place vote and finished second in the poll with 73 total points. Denison edged Ohio Wesleyan for third place, compiling 55 points, while the Battling Bishops totaled 54 points. Kenyon rounded out the top five with 41 points, one point ahead of Hiram (40 pts), while Oberlin (27), Wooster (24) and Allegheny (11) completed the nine-team field.

Wittenberg returns a strong nucleus from a team that went 27-3 a season ago, including junior Aubrey Cox who will look to anchor the middle again for the Tigers after posting a team-high 90 blocks, .311 hitting percentage and 219 kills in 2017. She was named an All-NCAC first-team selection, as well as a Great Lakes All-Region honorable mention honoree. Senior setter Karen Wildemann returns after amassing 1,004 assists, 243 digs, 128 kills and tying a team-high 33 service aces across 100 sets last season. Her accolades included AVCA All-America first-team honors, a Great Lakes All-Region first-team selection and All-NCAC first-team honors. Interim Head Coach Evelyn Carus takes over the helm of the Tigers 2018 squad after the departure of veteran Head Coach Paco Labrador.

The 2018 NCAC Volleyball season is set to kick off with non-conference action on Friday, Aug. 31, while the first league matches are scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22.

Founded in 1983, the North Coast Athletic Conference is made up of ten academically selective colleges and universities - Allegheny College, DePauw University, Denison University, Hiram College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College, Wittenberg University and the College of Wooster, along with affiliate member, Earlham College (field hockey). The NCAC sponsors 23 championship sports, 11 for men and 12 for women.

 

2018 North Coast Athletic Conference Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses, followed by total points)

1.

Wittenberg (8)

80

2.

DePauw (1)

73

3.

Denison

55

4.

Ohio Wesleyan

54

5.

Kenyon

41

6.

Hiram

40

7.

Oberlin

27

8.

Wooster

24

 9. 

Allegheny

11