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Bethany 1st and Westminster 2nd in PAC's preseason volleyball poll

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2022 PAC Women's Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll (Predicted order of finish)

School (first-place votes) Points 2021 record (conference)

1. Bethany College (6) 102 17-11 (13-5 PAC)

2. Westminster College (3) 95 28-5 (18-0 PAC)

3. Grove City College (1) 86 19-12 (11-7 PAC)

4. Thiel College (1) 81 11-19 (11-7 PAC)

5. Allegheny College 78 14-10 (2-6 NCAC)

6. Chatham University 76 19-8 (13-5 PAC)

7. Geneva College 60 13-17 (10-8 PAC)

8. Saint Vincent College 47 9-17 (6-12 PAC)

9. Waynesburg University 40 9-19 (3-15 PAC)

10. Washington & Jefferson College 29 3-22 (3-15 PAC)

11. Franciscan University 21 3-17 (2-16 PAC)

GREENVILLE, Pa. (pacathletics.org)--The Bethany College women's volleyball program was picked as the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) favorite in 2022, according to the league's annual preseason coaches' poll. The results of the poll, voted on by the conference's 11 head coaches, were revealed with the PAC's Players to Watch List Tuesday afternoon.

Bethany, led by 16th-year head coach Courtney Hilyer, claimed six first-place votes and 102 total points to top the preseason coaches' poll. Bethany has been selected No. 1 on the league's preseason coaches' poll three times (2014, 2019, 2022) since 2012. Bethany finished its 2021 season 17-11 overall and 13-5 in the PAC.

The No. 2 seed in last year's championship tournament, Bethany fell to top-seeded Westminster College 3-0 in the title match on November 6. Bethany has advanced to the tournament's title match five times since 2011, winning conference titles in 2016 and 2018.

Westminster, led by 30th-year head coach Tammy Swearingen, finished with three first-place votes and 95 points to finish second in this year's poll. After securing the top seed in the championship tournament for the fourth-straight season, Westminster won its third-straight conference championship last fall. Westminster owns six PAC titles and has earned a spot in the PAC's title match in five-straight seasons. As last year's championship tournament winner, Westminster received the conference's automatic-qualifying bid to the NCAA Division III Championship. It was the program's fourth appearance in the Division III Championship. Westminster was 28-5 overall and 18-0 in PAC play last season.

Led by fourth-year head coach Leo Sayles, Grove City College finished third in the coaches' poll with one first-place vote and 86 points. Thiel College and sixth-year head coach Tyler North collected the final first-place vote and 81 points to finish fourth in the poll.

Grove City, last year's No. 5 seed, was dealt a 3-1 loss by Westminster in the semifinal round on Nov. 4. It was Grove City's third-straight year advancing to the championship tournament's semifinals. Grove City owns a PAC-best nine conference championships, with its last coming in 2001.

Thiel, the No. 4 seed last fall, suffered a five-set loss to Grove City in the quarterfinals on Nov. 2. It was Thiel's third appearance in the championship tournament in the last four years.

Allegheny College registered 78 points to finish fifth while Chatham University totaled 76 points to finish sixth. Geneva College was seventh (60), Saint Vincent College was eighth (47), Waynesburg University was ninth (40), Washington & Jefferson College was 10th (29) and Franciscan University was 11th (21).

This season’s players to watch list includes seven All-PAC First Team selections, five All-PAC Second Team selections and seven All-PAC Honorable Mention selections from last fall.

Bethany rising junior Emma Marthins (Elkridge, Md. | Howard) and Thiel rising sophomore Maria Torres (Boardman, Ohio | Boardman) highlight this year's players to watch list.

Marthins was a First Team All-PAC selection last fall after pacing the PAC in hitting percentage (.309) and blocks per set (0.94). She finished the season with a combined 87.0 blocks (30 solo, 57 assist). Marthins was a Second Team All-PAC pick in 2020-21.

Torres had a terrific first season for Thiel, collecting the PAC Newcomer of the Year award and First Team All-PAC honors last year. Torres led the PAC in kills (4.04) and points (4.45) per set. Her 388 kills were the most in the league last fall and her 4.04 kills per set ranked 23rd in Division III. She finished the season hitting .202 (388-175-1053). Torres totaled 16 or more kills in nine matches, including a career-high 24 against Westminster in a five-set loss last September. She is the third player in program history to claim the league's newcomer of the year award, and first since Jenna Samsa in 2010.

Marthins and Torres both earned spots on the league's All-Tournament Team last fall.

The players to watch list also includes 24 members of the Fall 2021 PAC Academic Honor Roll, which recognizes student-athletes on varsity sports teams who have earned a grade-point average (GPA) of 3.6 or higher on a 4.0 scale during their semester of competition. Grove City rising junior Anna DeGraaf (Cranberry Township, Pa. | Seneca Valley) and Thiel rising senior Raquel McDonald (Syracuse, N.Y. | Bishop Grimes) went on to earn College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Division III First Team Academic All-District® honors last November.

On July 18, eight programs from the PAC earned the United State Marine Corps (USMC) and the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award for the 2021-22 season. The programs at Allegheny, Bethany, Franciscan, Geneva, Saint Vincent, Thiel, W&J and Waynesburg were honored. The Team Academic Award, initiated in the 1992-93 academic year and celebrating its 30th anniversary, honors collegiate and high school programs that displayed excellence in the classroom during the academic year by maintaining a year-long 3.30 cumulative team GPA. Additionally, Thiel was recognized as one of 43 Division III programs to be named to the 2022 Team Academic Honor Roll, which represents the top 20 percent of team GPAs from each division. It is the fourth time in five years (2018, 2020, 2021, 2022) Thiel has secured Team Academic Honor Roll distinction.

The league’s regular season concludes Saturday, October 29 with the six-team PAC Championship Tournament scheduled to get underway Tuesday, Nov. 1. The title match is slated for Saturday, Nov. 5. The top two seeds will receive quarterfinal byes. All matches will be hosted by the higher seed.

This year’s tournament champion will secure the PAC’s automatic-qualifying bid to the Division III Championship. Team selections for the Division III Championship will be announced Monday, Nov. 7, with regional action slated for Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 10-13. Saint Vincent and SportsPITTSBURGH will host the eight-team Division III Championship field Nov. 17-19 at Duquesne University’s UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse in Pittsburgh.

2022 PAC Women's Volleyball Players to Watch

Allegheny College
NameYr.Pos.Hometown | High School
Emma ChambersJr.OHStoutsville, Ohio | Amanda-Clearcreek
Kendall CrumSr.RSChattanooga, Tenn. | Girls Preparatory School
India McCruterJr.MHColumbus, Ohio | Hilliard Davidson
Cheyenne WilsonSr.OHChico, Calif. | Pleasant Valley
Bethany College
NameYr.Pos.Hometown | High School
Asia CrimSo.DSShoals, Ind. | Loogootee
Riley FeltonSr.MBSalineville, Ohio | Southern Local
Olivia KoehlerJr.OHPickerington, Ohio | Fairfield Christian
Emma MarthinsJr.MBElkridge, Md. | Howard
Alaina TorresSr.SLanexa, Va. | New Kent

 

Chatham University
NameYr.Pos.Hometown | High School
Amelia BogovichJr.OHForest Hills, Pa. | Serra Catholic
Meghan DominekJr.LIBPittsburgh, Pa. | North Hills 
Shaelah PeppermanSr.SBellefonte, Pa. | Bellefonte
Franciscan University
NameYr.Pos.Hometown | High School
Renee AntonelliGr.OHWintersville, Ohio | Indian Creek
Mary Jean CadmanJr.OHWhitehall, Pa. | Allentown Central Catholic
Rani HebertGr.MBLafayette, La. | Teurlings Catholic
Elizabeth LuebbersSo.RSDenver, Colo. | Bishop Machebeuf
Sara MooreSo.DSDavis, Ill. | Durand

 

Geneva College
NameYr.Pos.Hometown | High School
Tess NevilleJr.OHLisbon, Ohio | Crestview
Hope ShookSr.OHBellwood, Pa. | Bellwood
Maggie TownsendSr.OHBeaver Falls, Pa. | Beaver County Christian
Megan VeonSo.MHNew Castle, Pa. | Mohawk

 

Grove City College
NameYr.Pos.Hometown | High School
Robyn CollierSr.RSCorona, Calif. | Carnegie-Riverside
Anna DeGraafJr.MHCranberry Township, Pa. | Seneca Valley
Faith KeatingSr.OHTroy, Mich. | Troy
Gabby LucasJr.LIBButler, Pa. | Butler
Saint Vincent College
NameYr.Pos.Hometown | High School
Carly AugustineSr.SLatrobe, Pa. | Greater Latrobe
Lindsey KocjancicSr.MHJohnsonburg, Pa. | Johnsonburg
Madie MarsicoSr.DSOlmsted Falls, Ohio | Olmsted Falls
Luciana PolkJr.OHPittsburgh, Pa. | Mount Lebanon
Haley StormerFr.MHLigonier, Pa. | Ligonier Valley

   

Thiel College
NameYr.Pos.Hometown | High School
Kylee EatonSr.OHParker, Pa. | Allegheny-Clarion Valley
Jordan LiedikeSr.MBAnchorage, Alaska | Grace Christian
Raquel McDonaldSr.MBSyracuse, N.Y. | Bishop Grimes
Maria TorresSo.OHBoardman, Ohio | Boardman

   

Washington & Jefferson College
NameYr.Pos.Hometown | High School
Jaden BloughSo.RSMeyersdale, Pa. | Meyersdale
Lizzie CarmichaelJr.MHWyoming, Ohio | Wyoming
Adrianna SacramentoSo.SPittsburgh, Pa. | Woodland Hills
Sophia SacriponteSr.DSButler, Pa. | Butler

 

Waynesburg University
NameYr.Pos.Hometown | High School
Alexys MarshSr.MHPanama, N.Y. | Panama Central
Trysten SmithJr.SSenecaville, Ohio | Shenandoah
Kayla StohonSr.MHSummerhill, Pa. | Forest Hills
Jordan SteinSo.DSManor, Pa. | Norwin

 

Westminster College
NameYr.Pos.Hometown | High School
Malia DuffyJr.LIBAllison Park, Pa. | North Allegheny
Lauren LampusJr.OHSarver, Pa. | Freeport
Saylee GrinnenJr.MHEllwood City, Pa. | Elwood City

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