Aug. 23 - GREENVILLE, Pa. - The Bethany College women's volleyball team was picked to finish second on Monday for the 2016 season. The ranking comes from the annual Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Preseason Coaches Poll.
Bethany, who appeared in the PAC Championship last fall, garnered 91 points, including four first-place votes. They fell just three points behind reigning champion Thomas More, who also received four first place votes.
Westminster, Grove City, and Washington and Jefferson rounded out the top five with 83, 63, and 62 points, respectively, while the Golden Tornadoes also picked up two first place marks.
Along with the poll, the PAC releases a players to watch list where four Bison were named. Seniors Dakota and Dylana McKenzie (Hopewell, Ohio /West Muskingum), Arielle Sanders (Maple Heights, Ohio/Maple Heights) and sophomore Reilly Parker (Irwin, Pa./Norwin) were selected.
In 2015, Dylana McKenzie and Parker were both named First Team All-PAC, with Parker also being named the league's Rookie of the Year, while Dakota McKenzie and Sanders picked up Second Team All-PAC laurels.
Dylana, who has been named First Team All-PAC in all three years she has been on campus, returns as the leader on offense. She had at least 15 kills three times last year which helped her finish second in the league with 377 kills.
Dakota returns with three All-PAC honors tabbed to her name. Last season she ranked first on the team in points with 433, highlighted by her 369 kills, ranking her second on the team. The outside hitter finished with seven double-doubles, ranking first on the team.
Sanders returns following her career junior season where she bolstered the middle for the Bison. In total she posted a career-high 110 blocks, enough for tops in the PAC. On offense, she finished fourth on the team with 256 kills.
Parker had one of the best defensive seasons in Bethany College history in 2015, racking up 677 digs through the PAC Tournament. She posted double-digit digs in every match of the regular season, including 17 times where she had at least 20 digs. She led the conference in the stat and finished ranked 10th in Division III.
Bethany opens the regular season in the University of Mount Union Tournament on Sept. 2 where they will play Grove City and John Carroll at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively. Their home opener falls on Tuesday, Sept. 13 when they host a tri-match between Geneva and Thiel beginning at 4 p.m.