Volleyball picked to finish third in 2012 MIAA preseason poll

Defending MIAA champion Calvin has been chosen as the preseason favorite to win the conference volleyball championship this fall. The Scots 2012 team was picked to finish third in the poll after posting a 19-9 mark last season, also finishing third in the league.

"Obviously it is nice to have the respect of our league counterparts that puts us in the top three in the poll," said Alma Head Coach Sarah Dehring. "However, our goal is improve each season and that would mean breaking into the top two of the conference. It is not going to be easy as Calvin and Hope are again very good, and other teams in the league will be much improved as well. But, we will work hard to accomplish our goals and see where that takes us. We can only worry about ourselves."

The Knights, who didn't lose a match until the NCAA Division III regional tournament last fall, received six of the nine first-place votes in the MIAA preseason coaches poll that was announced Wednesday. Hope, which finished second to Calvin last season, received the other three first-place votes.

Poll Results (first-place votes in parenthesis): 1. Calvin (6) 10 pts. 2. Hope (3) 13. 3. Alma 26. 4. Trine 29. 5. Kalamazoo 38. 6. Saint Mary's 40. 7. Adrian 48. 8. Olivet 58. 9. Albion 62.

Calvin and Hope are ranked among the top 10 teams in NCAA Division III in the American Volleyball Coaches Association preseason poll. The Knights are ranked third, while the Flying Dutch are eighth.

MIAA teams will begin nonconference play on Friday, Aug. 31, with conference action getting underway on Tuesday, Sept. 4.