SU roundup: Hornets fourth in preseason poll

Daily Staff Report – sports@nvdaily.com

FOREST – The Shenandoah University field hockey team is the pre-season No. 4 selection of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference coaches in pre-season poll results released Monday morning by the league office.

The Hornets, who finished as the runner-up in the league race last season, return Player of the Year Ashley Cross as well as All-ODAC honorees Presha Merritt and Kelani Bailey off of last year’s squad.

Coach Ashley Smeltzer-Kraft, who was selected as the ODAC Coach of the Year, saw her 2014 team garner 44 points in the pre-season poll to come in one point behind No. 3 Bridgewater.

Lynchburg, the defending champion, is the pick to win it all again in 2014. The LC Hornets have a perfect 64 points on eight first-place votes.

Voting is done on an 8-1 basis and coaches cannot vote for their own team in the poll.

Randolph-Macon, which defeated SU in overtime last season in the tournament semi-finals, received Lynchburg’s first-place vote and is picked second with 55 points.

Shenandoah opens its season on Aug. 30 at Dickinson.