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The SLIAC Volleyball Coaches have picked a rematch of last year's tournament title match, choosing Greenville University and Webster University as preseason favorites in this year's poll. Both schools received four first-place votes each and totaled 76 points. Westminster College was picked 3rd while Fontbonne University and Principia College tied for 4th in the poll.

#1 Greenville University

Greenville heads into this season looking to defend their four consecutive SLIAC Tournament titles. The Panthers finished last year 23-11 overall and bring back 12 players and four starters. They will feature one of the more potent attacks in the league with junior outside hitter Abby Freeman leading the way. Freeman led the nation in points per set and was selected First Team All-Conference while picking up tournament MVP honors last fall. She finished with over 600 kills, nearly doubling the next closest conference player. With Freeman attacking from the outside, the middle belongs to junior Anna Finch. Finch, also a First Team selection, led the SLIAC with a .280 hitting percentage and finished with 298 kills and 94 blocks last year. The Panthers bring in a group of talented players that include freshmen Katilin Murray and Sacorra Patton and transfer Jasmine Smith.

2018 Overall Record: 23-11

2018 SLIAC Record: 16-2

Head Coach: Tom Ackerman

#1 Webster University

Webster University tied as the preseason favorites after going 19-12 last year. The Gorloks return 12 players and four starters from last year's squad that captured a share of the regular season SLIAC title. Webster libero Kristen Farrah made headlines last year in her first full season as a starter, leading NCAA Division III in digs and being named the SLIAC Player and Defensive Player of the Year. Offensively Sam Kruse returns after averaging a team high 2.69 kills per set, adding 419 digs and 28 blocks. Sarah Jacobs tallied 149 kills as a right side hitter while setter Jenna Rodriguez is back after averaging 4.39 assists per set. Webster will also bring in 9 freshmen and 2 transfers; which include Lauren Borik, Jordan Price, and Alondra Sanchez.

2018 Overall Record: 19-12

2018 SLIAC Record: 16-2

Head Coach: Merry Graf

#3 Westminster College

Westminster College finished 3rd in the poll with 66 points and picked up the last two remaining first-place votes from the coaches. The Blue Jays battled through an injury filled season in 2018, finishing 13-14 overall and 11-7 in the SLIAC. In addition, this season they will have to find a new libero after the graduation of Bridget Ringwald. However, the Blue Jays attack is loaded with the return of Natalie Needy and a healthy Ashley Kistaitis. Needy recorded 286 kills and 82 blocks last season. Two years ago, when healthy, Kistaitis tallied 340 kills and 283 digs for the Blue Jays and will be looking to wrap up her collegiate career with a similar performance. Sarah Rivers (58 blocks and a .258 hitting percentage) joins Needy in the middle while the versatile Teresa Becker will see time as both a setter and hitter. Headlining a strong incoming class are three freshmen: Kate Rable, Haley Menke, and Eryka Wanyonyi.

2018 Overall Record: 13-14

2018 SLIAC Record: 11-7

Head Coach: Natalia Koryzna

#4 Principia College

Principia tied for the 4th place in the poll with 50 points. The Panthers will have a new look however, as they bring back just one starter in setter Devon Marunde. Marunde, a senior, has been running the offense for four years and has been named All-Conference in each of the last two seasons. She averaged 8.92 assists per set last year, adding 221 digs. Marunde will have to find new options on offense though with the departure of the team's top three attackers from last year. The leading returner is Jessica Bayne, who totaled 144 kills. Also back is Nikki Matters who recorded 113 kills and 199 digs last year. The Panthers will be looking for newcomer, middle blocker Madi Leslie to contribute on the court.

2018 Overall Record: 18-5

2018 SLIAC Record: 15-3

Head Coach: Mary Ann Sprague

#4 Fontbonne University

Fontbonne also picked up 50 points in the poll, tying for 4th. The Griffins return 11 players and three starters and are led by senior middle blocker Maura Rabun. Rabun earned Second Team All-Conference honors after finishing second on the team with 208 kills while hitting .261 and leading the Griffins with 80 blocks. She is joined in the middle by Emma Siez (98 kills, 62 blocks). Olivia Tallo will look to increase her workload from last year while setter Abby Grumich returns to run the offense. Megan Schaller will handle libero duties after totaling 195 digs one year ago. Top newcomers are Rae Andrews, Jessica Molden, and Savannah Silva.

2018 Overall Record: 9-16

2018 SLIAC Record: 8-10

Head Coach: Ryan LeGrand

#6 MacMurray College

MacMurray College received 40 points in the poll, finishing in 6th place. The Highlanders have an experienced group returning, 14 players and five starters, which will be a benefit as first-year head coach Joana Ramsey takes over. Kamryn Flesner, the 2018 SLIAC Newcomer of the Year, will partner up with Olivia Wall and Brooke Hadley to form the focus of the attack with Flesner and Wall both topping 200 kills last season. Hannah Harbaugh (160 kills) also returns, giving the Highlanders their top four leaders in kills from last season. Alexis Moore is a fixture at libero and recorded her 1,000 career dig last season.

2018 Overall Record: 10-21

2018 SLIAC Record: 7-11

Head Coach: Joana Ramsey

#7 Iowa Wesleyan University

Iowa Wesleyan University comes in at #7 on the poll with 28 points. The Tigers will have a new coach in Aleksandra Popovic and return seven players and four starters. An experienced core of Lida Landre, Paige Kamerer, and Ariel Smale will lead the Tigers this fall. Landre led the team with 326 kills last year, earning Second Team All-Conference. Kammerer totaled 106 kills, 349 digs, and 477 assists last season while setter Ariel Smale averaged 3.74 assists per set. Middle blocker Grace Thomas will play a larger role this season while Jenna Murphy will handle libero duties. A pair of transfers, Breanna Mettler and Jaden Stretter, and freshman Gwyn Williams could push for playing time.

2018 Overall Record: 10-19

2018 SLIAC Record: 7-10

Head Coach: Aleksandra Popovic

#8 Blackburn College

Blackburn College placed 8th on the poll with 22 points. First-year Beaver head coach Morgan Hauser has four starters returning including Kendall Burleyson and Lucy Magnussen. Burleyson, a setter, is one of the top servers in the league; setting a school record with 45 aces last season. She also currently ranks 4th in career assists with 960. Magnussen had a solid freshman campaign last year, totaling 138 kills while hitting .240 with 46 blocks. A trio of newcomers that could play key roles on the team are Maddie Boll, Elizabeth Bowyer, and Amanda Swedberg.

2018 Overall Record: 8-20

2018 SLIAC Record: 6-12

Head Coach: Morgan Hauser

#9 Spalding University

Spalding University is picked 9th with 20 points. The Golden Eagles will once again be a young team, returning eight players and four starters. One of the players with experience is senior defensive specialist Maddie Rosendaul, who averaged 2.98 digs per set last year. Also returning are setter Mya Summers (644 assists) and outside hitter Samantha Robison, who led the team with 230 kills last season. Freshman Savannah Kruse and junior Cassie Jones should figure into the rotation as well.

2018 Overall Record: 1-29

2018 SLIAC Record: 0-18

Head Coach: Cheneta Robinson

#10 Eureka College

Eureka College concludes the poll with 19 points. The Red Devils bring back seven players and three starters for first-year head coach Nick Mackall. Coach Mackall will have an experienced group with four juniors and two seniors on the roster. Senior middle blocker McKenzie Reiners led the team with 74 blocks last year while juniors Caitlin Miller and Sara Worrell also return. Miller, an outside hitter, will play a bigger role with the departure of the team's top four attackers from last year. Worrell, a setter, averaged 4.85 assists per set one year ago. Ariel Campbell and Cailey Dufort join the Red Devil team this year with eyes on playing time.

2018 Overall Record: 6-22

2018 SLIAC Record: 4-14

Head Coach: Nick Mackall

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