CEDARVILLE — The defending champion Lady Jackets are selected to finish second in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference West Division for the 2017 volleyball season.
The poll was conducted in a vote by the G-MAC coaches.
G-MAC newcomer University of Findlay is the choice to win the West Division. The Oilers totaled 150 points and earned seven of a possible 13 first-place votes.
Cedarville picked up three top votes and 143 points. The Lady Jackets, who finished 27-9 and 9-1 last year, have won four of the five G-MAC Tournaments ever played.
Hillsdale College grabbed the remaining three first-place votes and is third in the West with 133 points. The rest of the division predictions include Trevecca Nazarene University (104 points), Ohio Dominican University (88), and Kentucky Wesleyan College (75).
“The results of the pre-season rankings in the G-MAC are a strong indicator of the strength of the conference this year. We are very excited for the awesome competition in both divisions. I strongly believe that the conference will be pushing for multiple bids in the NCAA Tournament come November!” said Cedarville women’s volleyball coach Doug Walters.
Another league newcomer, Lake Erie College, is the choice to win the G-MAC East Division. The Storm are followed by Walsh University, Davis & Elkins College, Ursuline College, Malone University, Alderson Broaddus University, and Ohio Valley University.
CU is scheduled to play every opponent in the West Division twice — home and away — and all teams in the East just once during the regular season.
The Great Midwest Athletic Conference tournament will be held Nov. 16-18 at the site of the conference’s overall No. 1 seed.
The top three teams from each division automatically qualify. The top two ‘wild card’ teams, irrespective of division, fill out the eight team single-elimination tournament. The tournament champion earns the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional.
Additionally, the Lady Jackets earned votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Preseason Poll and is the only G-MAC team to do so.
Cedarville made its first-ever Midwest Regional appearance in 2016 winning its first match against Findlay before falling to eventual champion Lewis (Ill.) in the semifinals.