Women’s volleyball places two places on the All-MAC Preseason team

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – – After stellar freshmen campaigns that saw them help Ball State women’s volleyball claim the first Mid-American Conference tournament championship since 2002, sophomores Marie Plitt and Natalie Risi have been named for Preseason All-MAC West Division 2020-21 Team voted by the 12 league coaches. Risi, the freshman of the year for MAC 2019, played all 32 games and all 126 sets for the Cardinals last season. Her 360 kills as a team leader also helped her earn seats on the All-MAC First Team and MAC All-Freshman Team. Risi, a two-time MAC West Division Offensive Player of the Week last season, Risi beat double-digit kills in 18 games, including 27 against Toledo (31 October 2019). Plitt also earned a spot on the 2019 MAC All-Freshman squad after playing in 30 of BSU’s 32 games last season, seeing action in 106 sets. She ranked first among Ball State regular holders with an attack rate of .295 and scored 196 kills during the year. He destroyed double-digit kills in six games, including a record 14 against Bowling Green (Oct 26, 2019). In addition to individual accolades, the defending MAC tournament and MAC West Division Champion Cardinals have been selected to finish in second place in the league’s west division behind the 2019 co-divisional champion of central Michigan. The Chippewa earned 67 points and seven votes in first place, while Ball State earned 64 points and five votes in first place. Rounding out the MAC West Division are Western Michigan (45 points), Eastern Michigan (31 points), Toledo (23 points) and Northern Illinois (22 points). The Cardinals also garnered a couple of votes to defend his MAC Tournament Championship. Bowling Green is the preseason favorite to win the tournament title by five votes, followed by BSU, Central Michigan (2), Kent State (1), Miami (1) and Ohio (1). This season, the top four teams advance to the league championship event to be held April 2-3 at the seeded venue. Ball State’s women’s volleyball team will open the delayed 2020 season on Friday, when they host Akron for their first serve at 6pm at Worthen Arena. With the new MAC schedule format, Cardinals and Zips will line up again on Saturday at 6pm. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent guidance from the county health department, public participation in Ball State Athletics events is currently prohibited.

West Division Coaches Survey 2020-21 1. Central Michigan – 67 points (7 first place votes) 2. Ball State – 64 points (5) 3. Western Michigan – 45 points 4. Eastern Michigan – 31 points 5. Toledo – 23 points 6. Northern Illinois – 22 points

Preseason 2020-21 East Division Coaches Survey 1. Miami – 62 points (4) 2. Bowling Green – 60 points (5) 3. Ohio – 55 points (3) 4. Akron – 28 points 5. Kent State – 24 points 6 Buffalo – 23 points

Tournament Champions: Bowling Green (5), Ball State (2), Central Michigan (2), Kent State (1), Miami (1), Ohio (1) MAC West Division Preseason All-MAC Team Marie Plitt, Ball State Natalie Risi, Ball State Kalina Smith, Central Michigan Lisbeth Rosario – Martinez, Central Michigan Franki Strefling, Eastern Michigan Rachel Bontrager, Western Michigan

MAC East Division Preseason All-MAC Team Emily Weigand, Akron Katelyn Meyer, Bowling Green Gaby Harper, Miami Vera Giacomazzi, Ohio Tia Jimerson, Ohio Maggie Nedoma, Ohio

Via: ballstatesports.com

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