RIO GRANDE, Ohio — After an impressive 2012 campaign which produced a top-three finish in the Mid-South Conference, the University of Rio Grande RedStorm volleyball team was picked to finish fifth in the 2013 Mid-South Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll released Thursday by conference officials.
Head coach Billina Donaldson’s squad received 51 points in the poll, which was just two points behind fourth place Shawnee State.
The RedStorm return just four players who saw extensive action on last year’s team, which finished 22-10 overall and 11-3 in MSC play after winning 18 of its final 23 contests.
Defensive specialist Nicole Ogg (Albany, OH) is the only senior on Rio’s 12-player roster this fall. The list also includes six freshmen.
Georgetown (Ky.) College topped the poll with 79 points. The Tigers, last year’s regular season champion, garnered seven of the 10 first-place votes.
Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) College was second in the balloting with 75 points and the remaining three first-place nods, while Campbellsville was third with 61 points and Shawnee State edged Rio for the No. 4 spot.
The University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) followed the RedStorm in voting with 43 points for sixth place, while the remainder of the list was comprised of St. Catharine (Ky.) College with 34 points, Bluefield (Va.) College with 24 points, Cumberland (Tenn.) University with 20 points and the University of Pikeville (Ky.) with 10 points.
Rio Grande opens its regular season schedule on Saturday, Aug. 24, when the University of Northwestern Ohio visits the Newt Oliver Arena for an 11 a.m. first serve.