The Wright State volleyball team was picked seventh in the Horizon League Preseason Poll, which was released Thursday by the league office. Voting was conducted by the eight head coaches in the league.
Milwaukee, which was won either the Horizon League regular-season or tournament title in each of the last 15 years, was the preseason favorite, receiving seven first-place votes adn 49 points overall. Cleveland State picked up the other first-place vote and 43 points to ranked second. The rest of the poll had Valparaiso third and UIC fourth followed by Green Bay, Loyola, the Raiders and Youngstown State.
"Being picked seventh is definitely not ideal, but we will use this to work hard and focus our efforts in improving every day and every match," said WSU first-year head coach Susan Clements. "This squad is under no illusions that it is going to be a long road ahead, but we have a goal and we are going to give it our best effort to move up in the standings by November."
The Raiders return nine letterwinners from last year's squad, including junior outside hitter Heidi Splinter, who ranked second in the league with a 0.34 ace per set average (33 in 96 sets). Splinter was also seventh with 3.02 kill per set average and ninth with a 3.17 dig per set average as she was named to the Blue-Gold Invitational and High Point Classic All-Tournament Teams.
Sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Ashley Langjahr also returns after finishing 10th in the league in hitting percentage last season at .262
Wright State opens the season at the Thunder Invitational in Huntington, West Virginia, August 24 and 25, taking on host Marshall along with Miami and IUPUI. The home opener for the Raiders is on Tuesday, August 28, as WSU faces Division I newcomer Northern Kentucky in the C.J. McLin Gymnasium starting at 7:00.
The following is the 2012 preseason Horizon League volleyball poll:
2012 PRESEASON HORIZON LEAGUE VOLLEYBALL POLL
|Place||Team||2011 Record||Points||First-Place Votes|
|1.||Milwaukee||25-4, 16-0 HL
||21-8, 13-3 HL
|3.||Valparaiso||20-15, 9-7 HL||36|
|4.||UIC||14-15, 7-9 HL||29|
||11-18, 7-9 HL||26|
|6.||Loyola||4-22, 1-15 HL||21|
|7.||Wright State||6-23, 5-11 HL||11|
||5-24, 3-13 HL||9|