Volleyball Tabbed As The Favorites In The A-R-C

Aug 14, 2019

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The American Rivers Conference announced the 2019 A-R-C Volleyball preseason poll on Wednesday afternoon, with the conference coaches naming the University of Dubuque Spartans as the top team in the conference with 62 total points.

The Spartans are coming off their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 20 years after winning the American Rivers Conference Tournament to secure the league’s automatic bid. From the NCAA tournament team, UD returns five of their top seven players based on sets played in 2018, including 2018 American Rivers Conference Player of the Year in Kara Wright and 2018 A-R-C Freshman of the Year in Kate Messino.

Wright, the senior from Stockton, Ill., came away 427 kills at a 3.81 kill per set rate during her MVP season. Wright produced all-around the court for the Spartans, adding 20 service aces, 409 digs and 62 total blocks.

In her freshman season, Messino (McHenry, Ill./Marian Central Catholic) was the straw the stired the drink for the Spartan offense, dishing out a team-high, 1,212 assists, good for 10.10 per set. She added 76 kills to go along with the assists and 39 service aces.

Other key returners include, Rylee Andresen (246 kills), Sarrah Farraday (194 kills), Kendra Witte (138 kills), Paige Harbort (122 kills) and Isabel Cleary (94 kills). In all the Spartans return 92.3% of all kills from the 2018 season.

The Spartans begin the regular season at the St. Mary's Univ. Sugar Loaf Classic Aug. 30-31, for four games in Winona, Minnesota.

Rank      School               Points      2018 Record
1.            Dubuque (6)     62           24-9, 6-2 A-R-C (Tournament Champions)
2.            Wartburg (3)     58          18-12, 7-1 A-R-C (Regular Season Champions)
3.            Coe                  45           20-11. 5-3 A-R-C
4.            Luther              44           15-17, 5-3 A-R-C
5.            Loras                41           19-10, 4-4 A-R-C
6.            Central             25            12-19, 1-7 A-R-C
t-7.         Buena Vista       17            13-12, 4-4 A-R-C
t-7.         NWU                 17            9-16, 2-6 A-R-C
9.            Simpson           15            8-19, 2-6 A-R-C