Grizzly Quintet Names Players to Watch as Part of HCAC's Pre-Season Volleyball Poll

Grizzly Quintet Names Players to Watch as Part of HCAC's Pre-Season Volleyball Poll

CARMEL, Ind. – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) has announced the 2019 pre-season volleyball poll with the rankings coming from the 10 league coaches.

Returning all but one starter from the 2018 club, the Grizzlies have been picked to finish sixth in the league in 2019, earning 40 points in the pre-season rankings.  Additionally, five of the returning starters from last year's club were named among the league's list of "Players to Watch" for the upcoming season with seniors Jenna Spini and Kyra Harvey are joined by juniors Abby Sewell, Mackenzie Waldran and Kyndall Boyll all making the list.

Coming off her first career First Team All-HCAC selection, Sewell looks to build on a stellar sophomore season that saw her emerge as one of the team's focal points on offense while remaining a strong net-front presence defensively. The Franklin-native led the team with 251 kills and a .296 hitting percentage while adding 55 blocks and 34 aces total.

Harvey came in second on the team with 236 kills in her first season with the team, matching Sewell for the most kills per set on the club with 2.59. The Sauk Rapids, Minn.-native would also finish with 116 digs and 30 aces for the Grizzlies while playing in 26 matches.

Boyll placed third on the team with 141 put-aways, averaging 2.31 per set across 19 matches. The Centerpoint, Ind.-native would add 111 digs, finishing tops among all Franklin outside hitters with 1.82 digs per set, a number good for fourth on the team.

Spini took part in 25 matches last year as the team's starting opposite side hitter, racking up 112 kills and adding 41 blocks. The Redwood City, Calif.-native served as a jack-of-all-trades for the Grizzlies a year ago, adding 61 assists and 46 digs.

Waldran was handed the keys to the Franklin offense a year ago, earning the starting setter position as a true sophomore. The Tanner, Ala.-native started all 27 contests, handing out 661 assists on the year and recording five matches with at least 40 helpers. She added 189 digs, 15 aces, 10 blocks and 23 kills for the Grizzlies.

Last year's regular season champion Transylvania was chosen to repeat as conference champions, earning 99 points and nine first-place votes to finish ahead of HCAC tournament champion Rose-Hulman. The entire pre-season poll can be found below.

Franklin opens the 2019 season on Friday, Aug. 30 in Santa Cruz, Calif. at the UC Santa Cruz Slugfest. The Grizzlies will meet host UC Santa Cruz at 3:00 p.m. eastern time before taking on Mills College at 7:45 p.m.

2019 HCAC Pre-Season Volleyball Poll
School (First Place Votes) Points
1. Transylvania (9) 99
2. Rose-Hulman 87
3. Hanover (1) 74
4. Bluffton 66
4. Earlham 66
6. Franklin 40
7. Anderson 39
8. Manchester 31
9. Defiance 22
9. Mount St. Joseph 22