By Bud Denega
ADA — No. 23 Ohio Northern has been selected to defend its volleyball conference title. The Polar Bears topped the Ohio Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll with Otterbein and Muskingum tying for second.
Northern, for the second consecutive season, collected 79 points with seven first-place votes. The Cardinals and Muskies earned 64 points and one first-place vote apiece, while Baldwin Wallace laid claim to 52 points and the final first-place vote.
The Polar Bears are fresh off a season that saw them finish 22-8 overall and 8-1 in conference to share the regular-season crown with Otterbein. ONU went on to defeat Muskingum to capture the OAC Tournament title and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
The Polar Bears' season came to a close in the opening round against No. 18 Wisconsin-Whitewater.
The Polar Bears open the 2019 season Aug. 30 hosting the ONU Invitational. Northern will battle No. 13 Illinois Wesleyan and No. 2 Calvin (Mich.) Friday followed by matches against No. 6 Wittenberg and Transylvania (Ky.) Saturday.
OAC Coaches Preseason Poll - Aug. 15, 2019
|Rank||Team (First Place Votes)||Points|
|1.||Ohio Northern (7)||79|
|4.||Baldwin Wallace (1)||52|