FOREST, Va. – Guilford College’s volleyball team was picked sixth in the preseason Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Coaches’ Poll released Monday. The Quakers share the sixth spot with Roanoke College as both institutions collected 64 points in the 12-team rankings.
Two-time defending league champion Randolph-Macon College claimed the top spot thanks to 10 first-place votes. Washington and Lee University, the 2016 ODAC Tournament runner up, placed second in the poll, followed by Bridgewater College. Virginia Wesleyan University edged out Lynchburg College for fourth place.
Coach Emily Gann’s Quakers returns 13 letter winners from last year’s 12-14 unit that went 6-5 in the league and reached the ODAC Tournament for the first time in four years. Casey Davis (Thomasville, N.C./Trinity) moves to right-side hitter for her senior season after collecting Second Team All-ODAC honors at outside hitter in 2016. She ranked ninth in the league with a team-high 2.98 kills per set and was eighth among the ODAC’s in points per set (3.5). Davis is supported by an experienced team that includes sophomore setter Tina Eucker, who stood fourth in the ODAC with 8.5 assists per game as a rookie. Sophomore outside hitter/libero Christian Ritter (Asheboro, N.C./Eastern Randolph), one of the league’s top defenders (4.8 digs per set), and senior middle blocker Jessica Sheek (.277 hitting percentage, 0.64 blocks/set) add to the team’s depth and experience.
Gann’s club opens its 23-match schedule September 1-2 at the Averett University Cougar Classic in Danville, Virginia. The Quakers’ first home match is September 9 versus Pfeiffer University in the Ragan-Brown Field House. Guilford starts league play September 13 at Lynchburg College. The eight-team ODAC Tournament begins November 1 and concludes November 5.
2017 ODAC Volleyball Coaches’ Poll (first-place votes in parentheses)
1. Randolph-Macon (10) 118 points
2. Washington and Lee (1) 109
3. Bridgewater (1) 97
4. Virginia Wesleyan 86
5. Lynchburg 84
6. Guilford 64
6. Roanoke 64
8. Emory & Henry 60
9. Shenandoah 45
10. Randolph 30
11. Eastern Mennonite 24
12. Hollins 11