Belles Picked Fourth in MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll
FREELAND, Mich. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team was picked to finish fourth in the annual Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association's (MIAA) preseason coaches poll, which was announced by the league earlier today.
Defending NCAA Division III national champion and AVCA top-ranked Calvin was favored by conference coaches to win the MIAA title in 2017 while No. 15 nationally-ranked Hope was slated second. The Belles were four points behind Adrian for the third place spot in the poll. Saint Mary's finished third in the MIAA a season ago.
"Saint Mary's Volleyball will have a brand new look," said head coach Denise Van De Walle. "We lost several players from last year to this but brought in eight talented, new players. Any time there is a big change in numbers you have a chance to redefine your identity and who you want to be. I'm very excited about this team's potential and its personality. I believe we will be young but very talented. We have our work cut out for us as coaches to do a lot of teaching this season, and we welcome the challenge. Our slogan this season is 'find a way' and we certainly will 'find a way' to be as competitive and fun to watch as possible!"
The Belles open the 2017 season on Friday, September 1 when they travel to Ohio to take on both Otterbein and Capital.
2017 MIAA Volleyball Coaches Preseason Poll
1. Calvin - 64 points (8 first-place votes)
2. Hope - 55 points (1 first-place vote)
3. Adrian - 49 points
4. Saint Mary's - 45 points
5. Albion - 34 points
6. Alma - 32 points
7. Trine - 19 points
8. Olivet - 17 points
9. Kalamazoo - 9 points