(Tuesday, August 6; Sioux Center, Iowa) The Dordt Defender volleyball team is no. 3 in the 2019 Great Plains Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches’ Volleyball Poll released Tuesday, August 6 by the GPAC office.
Dordt was the 2018 GPAC Regular Season Champion with a 16-0 league mark and a 31-3 overall in a season that ended in the NAIA National Championship Quarterfinal round. The Defenders earned 99 points in the annual vote conducted with all of the GPAC coaches. Points are awarded on a descending 11-1 basis and coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team.
"With the conference poll being released today, we are honored to be listed in the third spot," said Dordt volleyball coach Chad Hanson. "I do believe that this conference season will see some exciting competition among our members as teams have strengthened their rosters from where they were last year. Experience is deeper for some of the programs this year, while many new athletes and two new coaches will add competitive parity to our already tough conference. We have a very athletic group starting out our 2019 season and our success on the court will depend first and foremost on how well we can blend our talent into a unified entity. We are excited for the journey ahead and will be patient with the growth that unfolds."
The Defenders return Ally Krommendyk (Senior, Belle Plain, Minnesota) with a 2.27 kills per set average and 1.36 blocks. Jessi De Jager (Sophomore; Hull, Iowa) had a 1.72 kills per set average in 34 matches played. Also returning is Lydia Smits (Junior; Crete, Illinois) after averaging 1.3 kills per outing and Hannah Connelly (Junior; McCook Lake, South Dakota) and Erica Bousema (Junior; Sheldon, Iowa) are the top returning defensive specialists with 1.94 and 1.62 digs per set averages respectively and Connelly had 27 service aces.
Dordt opens the season on August 22 against Corban and will play in three matches at the Northwestern Red Raider Classic on August 23 and 24. Dordt opens GPAC play on Tuesday, September 3 on the road against Jamestown.
The 2019 GPAC volleyball season will consist of 16 conference matches with 12 teams competing for the title. The GPAC regular and postseason champions will earn automatic berths to the NAIA Volleyball Championship with the final site held in Sioux City, Iowa from December 3-7. A total of 44 teams will make the field with 32 teams advancing to the final site after 12 Opening Round matches occurring November 23 at on-campus sites.
Place Team Points (1st Place Votes)
1 Northwestern 119 (10)
2 Midland 106
3 Dordt 99 (1)
4 Hastings 87 (1)
5 Jamestown 84
6 Morningside 68
7 Doane 60
8 Concordia 55
9 Dakota Wesleyan 43
10 College of Saint Mary 36
11 Briar Cliff 24
12 Mount Marty 11