TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology volleyball team has been picked to finish sixth in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference this season, in a preseason poll of league coaches released August 12.
The Fightin' Engineers return five starters and 10 letter winners from a team that closed the 2015 season in strong fashion. Rose-Hulman won its last four matches to tie for sixth in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season standings last season.
This year's returnees are highlighted by junior Gabi Razma, a 2015 first-team all-conference selection and the 2014 league Defensive Most Valuable Player. Razma holds Rose-Hulman's single-game school record with 46 digs and ranks ninth in school history with 1,372 digs in just two seasons.
Other returning conference postseason award winners from 2015 include sophomore Julia Hammond and junior Mackenzie Gossard. Hammond led the team with 254 kills and had 174 digs and 31 blocks as a freshman last season. Gossard led the team with 90 total blocks to go along with 82 kills, 48 digs and 26 service aces last fall.
Hanover was picked to defend its 2015 HCAC regular season championship with nine of a possible 10 first-place votes. Bluffton, who represented the HCAC in the NCAA Division III Tournament after defeating Hanover in the league title match, was selected to finish second.
Transylvania, Franklin and Defiance rounded out the top half of the conference preseason poll. Rose-Hulman was selected sixth, followed by Mount St. Joseph, Manchester, Anderson and Earlham.
The Fightin' Engineers open the 2016 season in the Washington University Invitational on Friday, Sept. 2. The home season begins with a matchup against crosstown foe St. Mary-of-the-Woods on Sept. 14.
2016 HCAC VOLLEYBALL PRESEASON POLL
|Finish||Team||First Place Votes||2015 Overall Record||2015 HCAC Record|
|7||Mount St. Joseph||43||11-18||4-5|