The Ottawa University volleyball team is a favorite to win its fourth straight regular-season conference championship. The Lady Braves were selected the preseason favorite by the KCAC coaches.
Ottawa collected eight first-place votes and a total of 140 points, while Kansas Wesleyan collected 133 total points and four first-place votes. McPherson College was selected third with 121 points and the final first-place vote, while Oklahoma Wesleyan University was tabbed fourth with 105 points.
The Lady Braves were the 2017 KCAC volleyball regular season co-champions with Kansas Wesleyan University, both finishing 19-3 in the KCAC.
Ottawa defeated College of the Ozarks, 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-16) in the NAIA opening round. Ottawa went 0-3 at the NAIA National Tournament but went five sets in its final two matches of the season.
Ottawa fell 3-2 to No. 13 Missouri Baptist and 3-2 to No. 20 Northwest University.
The Lady Braves, coached by fifth-year coach Melissa Blessington, open the season Aug. 24-25 in the KCAC preseason tournament in Hutchinson.
Ottawa plays Bethany and Friends on Aug. 24. Ottawa opens conference play Sept. 19 at Sterling College.
Senior middle blocker Kenna Hall, an honorable mention All-American in 2017, headlines the returners.
Senior libero Liz Heit, a second team all-conference selection, returns to anchor the defense.
2018 KCAC Preseason poll
1. Ottawa University 140
2. Kansas Wesleyan University 133
3. McPherson College 121
4. Oklahoma Wesleyan University 105
5. Tabor College 95
6. University of Saint Mary 82
7. Sterling College 75
8. Friends University 74
9. Bethany College 49
10. Avila University 46
11. Southwestern College 41
12. York College 27
13. Bethel College 26