Milligan College edged out Union College as the preseason favorite in a poll of the Appalachian Athletic Conference volleyball coaches released Tuesday.
The Lady Buffs garnered four first-place votes and had 67 total points, while Union was chosen second with three first-place and 66 points. AAC newcomer Columbia College was third with 49, while Montreat was fourth with 45 and Bryan rounded out the top five with 39. Reinhardt and Virginia Intermont were sixth and seventh, while Tennessee Wesleyan and Bluefield rounded out the rankings.
Milligan is coming off its first 20-win season since 2002, finishing last season 27-14 and tied for third in the AAC at 10-4. The Buffs lost to Union 3-2 in the championship match of the league tournament. The Buffs return AAC setter of the year Chelsea Spivey and All-AAC first team selection Kendra Fiddler.
The Buffs open the season on Aug. 26, playing host in the Milligan Mountain Madness tournament at Steve Lacy Fieldhouse.