Loyola seven years after winning its last MIVA championship once again is the favorite to win a conference title.
The Ramblers received four of eight first-place votes to finish atop the MIVA Preseason Poll that was released on Tuesday.
All-MIVA setter Garrett Zolg and All-MIVA outside attacker Cole Schlothauer highlight the returning starters from a team that reached the MIVA Tournament finals last season. The Ramblers also finished the 2021 season in the top 10 of both the national coaches poll and national media poll.
Loyola has not won a conference title since 2015 when it repeated as NCAA champions.
The Ramblers were one of three teams to a receive first-place votes in the preseason poll.
The defending MIVA champions Lewis received two first-place votes and was the runner-up in the poll earning 49 points – 10 fewer points than its in-state rival Loyola. In addition, Lewis All-American middle attacker Tyler Mitchem was selected as the MIVA Preseason Player of the Year.
Ohio State earned the other two first-place votes and garnered 47 points to finish the poll in third place.
The MIVA season begins in February and concludes with the eight-team conference tournament in April. The winner of the MIVA Tournament will receive the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
2022 MIVA Preseason Poll
1. Loyola – 59 (4) points
2. Lewis – 49 (2) points
3. Ohio State – 47 (2) points
4. Ball State – 44 points
5. McKendree – 40 points
6. Purdue Fort Wayne – 22 points
7. Lindenwood – 19 points
8. Quincy – 8 points
2022 MIVA Preseason Player of the Year
Tyler Mitchem, Lewis
2022 Preseason All-MIVA
Setter: Quinn Isaacson, Ball State
Setter: Kevin Kauling, Lewis
Setter: Ryan Serrano, McKendree
Setter: Garrett Zolg, Loyola
Opposite/Middle attacker: Tyler Mitchem, Lewis
Outside attacker: Vicente Ibarra, Purdue Fort Wayne
Outside attacker: Kaleb Jenness, Ball State
Outside attacker: Martin Lallemand, Ohio State
Outside attacker: Patrick Ross, McKendree
Outside attacker: Cole Schlothauer, Loyola
Outside attacker: Sotiris Siapanis, Ohio State
Libero: Troy Gooch, Purdue Fort Wayne