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Valpo Tabbed Third in 2013 HL Preseason Poll
Brittany Duncan is one of three returning All-League honorees for the Crusaders. (Di Geng)
Brittany Duncan is one of three returning All-League honorees for the Crusaders. (Di Geng)

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The Valparaiso University softball team has been picked to finish in third place in the Horizon League standings for the 2013 season in preseason polling by the league’s head coaches.

Third-year head coach Jordan Stevens returns 12 letterwinners from the 2012 squad, which won a school-record 42 games, captured the Horizon League regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time.  Among the returnees are three players who earned postseason honors from the Horizon League last season: sophomore Brittany Duncan (Fairborn, Ohio/Fairborn), the league’s Newcomer of the Year and a First Team All-League honoree; fifth-year senior Joylyn Ichiyama (Torrance, Calif./Redondo Unio), a First Team recipient; and redshirt junior Jessie Marinec (Alsip, Ill./Marist), a Second Team honoree.

Valparaiso received 37 points in the polling, which awarded eight points for a first-place vote, and tallied one first-place nod.  Loyola is the preseason favorite, picking up six of the eight first-place votes and 48 points in all, while UIC received the other first-place vote and edged out the Crusaders with 39 points.  Youngstown State (30 points) rounds out the top half of the preseason poll, while Green Bay (22), Cleveland State (20), Wright State (19) and Detroit (9) comprise the bottom half.

Valpo is set to open the 2013 campaign this weekend at the Belmont Spring Kickoff in Nashville, Tenn., beginning with a game against Jackson State on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 9 a.m.

 

Team

Points (1st place votes)

1.

Loyola

48 (6)

2.

UIC

39 (1)

3.

Valparaiso

37 (1)

4.

Youngstown State

30

5.

Green Bay

22

6.

Cleveland State

20

7.

Wright State

19

8.

Detroit

9