The Buena Vista softball team continues to gain the respect of their foes throughout the Iowa Conference, as the Beavers were picked to finish third according to the IIAC Preseason Softball Coaches Poll which was released to the public on Thursday.
BVU, which finished third a year ago at 20-16 (7-5 IIAC), earned 43 points in this season's poll. Central College, which finished just behind the Beavers in 2016, received one first-place vote (coaches not allowed to vote for their own team) and was picked second with 56 points.
Defending Iowa Conference regular season and tournament champion, Luther College, was the league's unanimous pick to repeat as champions this season after going 40-5 (11-1 IIAC) last year.
The Beavers finished just ahead of both Coe College and Simpson College, who tallied 39 points and tied for fourth.
Buena is slated to kick-off its 2017 campaign when it travels to Westminster College on March 11 for a doubleheader starting at 12:00pm. The IIAC schedule begins when BVU hosts Loras College on April 1 for a doubleheader starting at 1:00pm.
2017 IIAC Preseason Softball Coach Poll
|Rank||School (1st place votes)||Points||2016 Record|
|1.||Luther College (8)||64||40-5, 11-1 IIAC (IIAC Regular Season & Tournament Champion)|
|2.||Central College (1)||56||23-15, 8-6 IIAC|
|3.||Buena Vista University||43||20-16, 7-5 IIAC|
|T4.||Coe College||39||25-10, 6-6 IIAC|
|T4.||Simpson College||39||31-11, 8-4 IIAC|
|6.||Wartburg College||36||18-24, 7-7 IIAC|
|7.||Nebraska Wesleyan||23||21-19, 10-12 GPAC|
|8.||Loras College||13||17-21, 2-10 IIAC|
|9.||University of Dubuque||11||8-28, 1-11 IIAC|