TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has been picked to finish fourth in a tightly contested Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference volleyball standings chase, in a preseason coaches poll released on Friday.
Rose-Hulman received two first place votes and a total of 76 poll points to finish fourth among the league's 10 teams. Hanover is the narrow favorite with 91 poll points, followed by Transylvania at 90. Bluffton was selected third with 79 poll points.
Rose-Hulman welcomes first-year head coach Rachel Sellari to the helm of the volleyball program after the Fightin' Engineers had a successful 2017 season. The team finished 20-12 overall and reached the HCAC championship match with a 7-2 league mark.
Sellari must replace three senior starters from last year's team, but the youth and experience of the Fightin' Engineer squad looks to keep Rose-Hulman competing at a high level against one of the nation's toughest non-conference schedules. Senior Bailey MacInnis leads the returnees after earning first-team all-HCAC honors and first-team Google Cloud Academic All-American accolades in 2017. Junior Katie Orbeta also returns after claiming honorable mention all-conference honors last season.
The roster features 11 returning players, highlighted by four returning starters. A strong freshman class of four provides depth to the squad.
The 2018 season begins with a trip to the nationally competitive University of Chicago Invitational on Aug. 31-Sept. 1. The home season begins with a matchup against Webster University on Sept. 5.
2018 HCAC VOLLEYBALL PRESEASON POLL
|Finish||Team||First Place Votes||2017 Overall Record||2017 HCAC Record|
|7||Mount St. Joseph||41||13-14||3-6|