BEREA, Ohio -- The Baldwin Wallace University team has been picked to finish third in the Ohio Athletic Conference Coaches Preseason Poll.
BW, who picked seventh a season, ago was selected third of 10 teams with 63 points. The Yellow Jackets only trailed defending OAC regular season and tournament champion and NCAA qualifier Heidelberg University in first place with 79 points and seven first place votes and Ohio Northern University in second with 73 points and three first place votes. The University of Mount Union and John Carroll University rounded out the top five as the Purple Raiders were fourth with 52 points and the Blue Streaks were with 50 points.
"We are excited to see that our competitors in the OAC have acknowledged the growth and progress that our volleyball program has made over the last year," said second-year Head Coach Scott Carter. "Being ranked third in the preseason compared to seventh at this time last year validates our efforts and indicates that we are moving in the right direction. As we all know, building and sustaining a championship caliber program is a journey that you take one step at a time. We have established a foundation to build on but we still have work to be done, and strides to be taken. We are focused and committed to reaching our goal of becoming and maintaining ourselves as a national caliber program."
BW finished the 2015 campaign with an overall record of 23-7 and a third place finish in the OAC standing with a mark of 6-3.
Carter, who enters his fifth career season of coaching, returns eight letterwinners, four starters plus the libero. He welcomes back two seniors, two juniors and four sophomores from last year's squad along with eight new faces that will push for playing time in his rotation.
The Yellow Jackets open the 2016 season when they travel to Latrobe, Pennsylvania to compete in the Bearcat Challenge hosted by St. Vincent University on September 2-3 BW will host its first home dual match on September 7 with a non-conference match against Penn State Behrend College.
The 18th annual Marcia French Memorial Invitational is slated for September 9 and 10 on the campuses of BW and Case Western Reserve University. The first OAC match is on Saturday, October 1 against Marietta College in the Ursprung Gymnasium at 1 p.m.