Murray State Selected As OVC Preseason Favorite; Full Predictions & Awards

  0 Derek Johnson | August 14th, 2018 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News

The Ohio Valley Conference preseason awards and predictions are out, as Murray State has been pegged the conference favorite headed into 2018.

There were 24 votes available, with each team getting one for their head coach and one for their sports information directors. Of that amount, 10 first-place votes went to Murray State. The Racers, who went 22-9 overall and 12-4 (third) in the OVC in 2017, were also the lone team to put a trio of players on the Preseason All-OVC Team as they did with Rachel Giustino, Rachel Holthaus and Katirah Johnson.

Although they were picked second, Austin Peay actually wound up with the most first-place votes at 14. They trailed by just three points overall at 227 as they received more votes outside of the top two than the Racers. Two players from the team that won the Ohio Valley Conference and made the NCAA Tournament in 2017 landed on the all-conference team too in Kirsten Stucker and Brooke Moore. In total last season, Austin Peay went 30-6 and 14-2 en route to regular and postseason league crowns.

Finishing out the top five is SIUE, Eastern Kentucky and Belmont in third, fourth and fifth respectively. Besides the top two, Eastern Kentucky was the only other school with multiple All-OVC players, which they got in Chloe Rojas and Cassie Knutson. SIUE also wound up second last regular season at 23-7 overall and 13-3 in conference play.

The full list of individual honors as well as team predictions can be seen below via the Ohio Valley Conference:

2018 Volleyball Preseason All-OVC Team 
(voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors)

Kirsten Stucker, Austin Peay
Taylor Smith, Eastern Illinois
Chloe Rojas, Eastern Kentucky
Rachel Giustino, Murray State
Rachel Holthaus, Murray State
Katirah Johnson, Murray State
Cassie Knutson, Eastern Kentucky
Brooke Moore, Austin Peay
Lauren Rokey, Morehead State
Kirsten Brugere, Tennessee Tech
Alexa Nichols, Belmont
MacKenzie Rombach, Jacksonville State
Rachel Henderson, Tennessee State
Sami Knight, SIUE

2018 OVC Volleyball Predicted Order of Finish
(voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors)

  1. Murray State (10) – 230
  2. Austin Peay (14) – 227
  3. SIUE – 193
  4. Eastern Kentucky – 175
  5. Belmont – 152
  6. Morehead State – 129
  7. Jacksonville State – 125
  8. Eastern Illinois – 112
  9. Southeast Missouri – 95
  10. Tennessee State – 58
  11. UT Martin – 56
  12. Tennessee Tech – 32

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