NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont University Volleyball was selected to finish in the second half of the pack of the Ohio Valley Conference for the regular season title, as announced by the league office on Wednesday, coming in at 11th.
In the team race for the top, four teams collected first-place votes as voted by the OVC's head volleyball coaches and Sports Information Directors. Southeast Missouri State was picked to win the league with 10 first-place votes and a total of 222 points. Jacksonville State, picked to finish second, recorded five first-place votes with 216 points. Morehead State was chosen to finish third with 214 points but seven first-place votes while Murray State picked up 180 points and a pair of first-place votes to be predicted to finish fourth. Austin Peay rounded out the top five with 160 points.
Completing the second half of the list were SIUE (137 points), Tennessee Tech and UT Martin were tied for seventh (123 points each), followed by Tennessee State (77 points), and Eastern Kentucky (53 points). Belmont was picked 11th with a total of 48 points, followed by Eastern Illinois (31 points).
After having their fall season postponed by the Covid-19 global pandemic, the Bruins will be eager to return to the court in spring 2021 for their second year under head coach Katelyn Harrison. BU returns nine letterwinners from the previous season. Headlining the returning starters is senior Halee Van Poppel (Argyle, Texas), who led the team in kills with a total of 341. She also posted 264 in digs to lead the team and collected a team-high 27 service aces. Also returning is junior Mary Catherine Ball (Hendersonville, N.C.), who followed in kills tallying 272. Sophomore Kailee Bass (Aurora, Ill.) led Belmont in solo blocks with a total of nine while junior Peyton Kelley (Normal, Ill.) finished with 249 digs.
BU will kick off the conference-only spring 2021 campaign on Sunday, February 7 at home in the Curb Event Center. The Bruins will take on SIUE beginning at 2 p.m.
Spring 2021 OVC Volleyball Predicted Team Order of Finish
(as selected by OVC Head Volleyball Coaches and Sports Information Directors)
|1. Southeast Missouri (10 first-place votes)||222|
|2. Jacksonville State (Five first-place votes)||216|
|3. Morehead State (Seven first-place votes)||214|
|4. Murray State (Two first-place votes)||180|
|5. Austin Peay||160|
|T7. Tennessee Tech||123|
|T7. UT Martin||123|
|9. Tennessee State||77|
|10. Eastern Kentucky||53|
|12. Eastern Illinois||31|