KENOSHA, Wis. (MCVL.org) - Defending regular season and tournament champion Carthage has been selected as the preseason favorite, as voted by the coaches of the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League, and announced on Tuesday.
The Red Men went undefeated in league play a season ago, finishing the year with a 27-2 record, which included an appearance at the 2016 NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship. Over the last two seasons, Carthage has yet to lose in the MCVL, sporting a 17-0 mark. Returning for the Red Men in 2017 include senior libero Marc Hansen, the 2016 Off the Block/Springbak National Libero of the Year, senior Griffin Shields, the 2016 Off the Block/Springbak National Opposite of the Year and 2016 MCVL Offensive Player of the Year, along with J.P. Tulacka, the 2016 MCVL Defensive Player of the Year. Carthage opens its season on Saturday, Jan. 14 against NAIA-side, Clarke.
Junior Quin Krisik returns for MSOE in 2017 as one of four selected to the All-MCVL squad. Joining Krisik on the roster this season are juniors Sam Stealey and Neil Naughton, who each garnered second team honors. The Raiders open their season on Thursday, Feb. 2 in league play against North Central.
After claiming the final spot in the 2016 MCVL Tournament, Dominican returns all three of its All-MCVL picks from a season ago, led by first team selection and junior Luke Spicer, who finished with 285 kills, including 29 in a five-set victory over Benedictine. In addition, senior Alex Coyne and senior Jeremy Royko return for Dan Ames' squad. The Stars open the 2017 season on Friday, Jan. 20 against New York University.
Claiming the fourth spot in this year's MCVL Preseason Poll is Lakeland with 148 points. The Muskies went 10-3 in league play to go along with a 17-9 overall record, which included a 9-1 record on the road. Senior Matt Stolz returns for Lakeland as the lone All-MCVL pick as a first team selection, finishing with 282 kills, including a season-high 22 against Wittenberg. The Muskies begin their 2017 campaign on Friday, Jan. 20 against Nazareth in Utica, N.Y.
Mount St. Joseph earned a fifth-place ranking with 140 points, while Benedictine finished sixth with 133 points. In seventh, the coaches selected Wittenberg with 97 points ahead of North Central in eighth with 94 points.
Second-year member Marian earned a ninth-place ranking with 85 points, ahead of Greenville (76 points), Loras (66 points) and Fontbonne (57 points). Adrian (25 points) and Olivet (21 points) round out the coaches poll.
The 2017 MCVL Tournament is scheduled for the weekend of April 14-15, 2017 and will be hosted at the site of the regular season champion. For the first time in league history, the 14-team conference will be organized into two divisions, according to geography, and the winner of the postseason tournament will receive the conference's automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship.