GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Calvin volleyball team will open the 2019 season as the number-two ranked team in NCAA Division III women's volleyball.
The Knights claimed the number-two spot in the preseason Division III Top-25 poll released by the American Volleyball Coaches Association this afternoon.
Calvin received 10 first place votes (out of a possible 67). Defending national champion Emory received 52 first place votes and is the top-ranked team in the poll.
Calvin will face seven teams during the 2019 season that are ranked in the AVCA preseason Division III Top 25 poll. The Knights will open the season at 23rd-ranked Ohio Northern on October 30 and then meet 13th-ranked Illinois Wesleyan the following afternoon in Ada, Ohio. Calvin will face 6th-ranked Wittenberg on September 6 at the MIAA/NCAC Crossover Challenge in Lansing, Michigan. On September 14, Calvin will meet 22nd-ranked Christopher Newport at a tournament hosted by Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. Calvin will journey to ninth-ranked Chicago on September 18.
The Knights are slated to travel to 21st-ranked Hope on September 28 in the MIAA opener for Calvin. Hope returns to Calvin on October 25 to face the Knights in a non-conference match.
Calvin will also host 11th-ranked Ithaca at Calvin's own Midwest Invitational on October 18.
A year ago, Calvin finished 33-2 and reached the NCAA III Tournament finals for the fifth time in program history.
The Knights return two players that received 2017 AVCA Division III post-season honors.
Returning is senior setter/middle hitter Sarah DeVries who was named the 2018 AVCA Division III National Player of the Year and a 2018 AVCA First Team All-American. Also returning is sophomore outsider hitter Kelsey Smith who was a 2018 AVCA Division III Honorable Mention All-America selection and an AVCA Great Lakes All-Region choice.