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Friday, 09 August 2013 15:05

BU Ranked Second in Volleyball Poll

Shannon Bond will return for Baker in her sophomore season Shannon Bond will return for Baker in her sophomore season

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – The Baker University Volleyball team was chosen second in the Heart of America Athletic Conference Coaches' Preseason Poll this week, just behind No. 1 rated rival MidAmerica Nazarene.

Baker finished fourth last season in the HAAC regular season standings with a mark of 6-3 and went 19-14 overall.

"I feel like we have a good balance of players this year," said Allen. "We have a lot of strong returners coming back. But we also lost a few strong players, so we have brought in some transfers and we will have a new setter this year. I am looking forward to seeing the mix of players and how we work together."

Coach Allen will return one of the more talented young players in the NAIA in Danielle French, the 2012 HAAC freshman of the year. French was the only freshman named to the first-team all-conference team after a season in which she played in all 119 sets for the Wildcats and collected 250 kills, averaging 2.10 kills per set.
The Overland Park, Kan., native led Baker with 166 total blocks and 27 solo blocks and 139 block assists.

Baker will also return second-team all-conference libero Renata Dill and Jasmyn Turner, who received honorable mention for the all-HAAC team. Fellow senior Crystal Simon is also back for Coach Allen. Simon was second on the team in kills last season with 275. All three seniors will be key to Baker's 2013 success.

"We've got some strong seniors coming back in Jasmyn Turner and Crystal Simon," Allen said. "They should be able to hold down the outside for us. Of course, Renata will be back for us and will take care of the back row at the libero spot. Danielle French returns after her strong freshman season. She should again be strong in the middle.

"We also have sophomore Shannon Bond joining French in the middle, so I feel like we have some good veteran players coming back."

Baker will open up 2013 with two tournaments on the road, first at the Northwestern Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa on Aug. 23-24 before traveling to Bellevue, Neb., for the Bellevue Tournament on Aug. 30-31.

The Wildcats will open up the home season on Sept. 6-7 in the Baker Invitational at the Collins Center. They will take on John Brown on Friday, Sept. 6 at 11 a.m. and Friends at 7 p.m. Then they will face Benedictine College at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7 and wrap up the Invitational with a 7 p.m. match against Sterling.

2013 HAAC Preseason Volleyball Rankings:
1. MidAmerica Nazarene
2. Baker
3. Culver-Stocktomn
4. Graceland
5. Evangel
6. Missouri Valley
7. Benedictine
8. Central Methodist
9. Peru
10. Avila

For all information regarding Baker Volleyball this season, please visit


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