Defending national champs, Harper College, given preseason #1 ranking

Defending national champs, Harper College, given preseason #1 ranking

Defending national champion Harper College will begin the 2017 volleyball season right were they left off in 2016, at the top of the list of the nation's best programs. The Hawks are ranked #1 in the Preseason NJCAA Division III Poll released earlier this week, with top rival Madison College not far behind at #5.

Harper went 43-1 last fall, winning the North Central Community College Conference and Region IV crowns en route to the program's first-ever national title. In the process they defeated the WolfPack in each of their three meetings, the last of which was a 3-1 decision in the Region IV Division III Championship that ended a three-year run atop the region by Madison College.

The nation's top team will open the 2017 season August 24 with a home game against Robert Morris University. The Hawks will play all home games at the Forest View Educational Center in Arlington Heights, Illinois, while their normal home gym is undergoing renovations. The WolfPack begin play August 22 in Dubuque, Iowa, against Clarke University. The two powerhouse programs will square off September 19 in Madison, and again on October 17 on Harper's home floor.