Bronco netters stay in Top 10 of NAIA poll

    Hastings College volleyball comes together prior to the match with Dordt on Dec. 1, 2017 (KHGI)<p>{/p}

    Hastings College enters the 2018 season at the No. 10 team in the preseason NAIA Women's Volleyball Coaches' poll, released Tuesday.

    The Broncos didn't slip far from the last spot they held at No. 9 following a disappointing finish at the 2017 national tournament. Even with the graduation losses of two-time NAIA Libero of the Year Jill Bax, GPAC Player of the Year Katie Placke and middle blocker Andrea Lavene, Hastings claimed 277 points and sits 29 clear of No. 11 Midland (Neb.).

    Opening their season at the Coastal Georgia Classic on Aug. 17, the Broncos play four matches in two days before coming home to face former GPAC foe Nebraska Wesleyan, now of Division III, on Aug. 25 at the Bill Marshall Classic in Grand Island, Neb.

    After claiming its first red banner, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) is the No. 1 pick, the national office announced. The Blue Raiders captured 11 of 14 first-place votes as well as 371 points. Runner-up Dordt received the other three first place tallies.

    Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 2000):

    - Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) claimed its first national title in the team’s first ever trip to the national championship match on December 2, 2017.

    - The Blue Raiders finished the 2017 season with a perfect 35-0 record and played only one, five-set match during the championship (vs Cornerstone (Mich.)) and three, four-set matches (vs Indiana Wesleyan, Eastern Oregon and Dordt (Iowa)). They played a total of 31-of-35 matches in three sets during the 2017 season.

    - Lindsey Wilson will add four top newcomers in the 2018 season to complement a strong core of the 2018 National Championship team.

    - New to the poll: Southern Oregon, Doane (Neb.) and Ottawa (Kan.)

    - Lindsey Wilson holds the longest active streak in the Top 25 with 58 total appearances. The last 27-consecutive appearances have been in the top five.

    - There has only been one program that has been able to maintain the No. 1 ranking for an entire season, with former member Fresno Pacific (Calif.) accomplishing the feat in 2004, 2008 and 2009.

    Poll Methodology

    - The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, Association of Independent Institutions and Unaffiliated Groups.

    - The Top 25 is determined by a points system based on how each voter ranks the best teams. A team receives 30 points for each first-place vote, 29 for second place and so on through the list.

    - The highest and lowest ranking for each team (a non-rating is considered a low rating) is removed and the team’s ranking will be recalculated with an additional point added to each team for every ballot (including discounted ballots) that the teams appear on.

    - Teams that receive only one point in the ballot are not considered “receiving votes”

    - The frequency of polls occurs bi-weekly. This policy was approved by the National Administrative Council (NAC) for the 2016-17 academic season. This change will allow raters the opportunity to consider a larger body of work in between rating periods.

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