The Owens Community College Express volleyball team is ranked No. 4 in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) D-II preseason poll.
Cowley County Community College, who finished as the national runner-up last year, is ranked No. 1. They won the national title the year before. Meanwhile, the defending national champion, Grand Rapids Community College, is ranked No. 2 while Parkland College, a national semifinalist last season, is ranked No. 3.
The 2012 Express volleyball team advanced to the national semifinals before falling to Cowley County. Parkland defeated the Express in the consolation match.
The 2013 Express features six returning players including Lisa Urbanski(defensive specialist), Dominique Yates (outside hitter/middle blocker),Tiffani Hobbs (right side hitter), Kenzie Kleinhenz (right side hitter),Kennedy Geyman (defensive specialist) and Jazmine Thomas (middle blocker).
Last season, Urbanski was named First Team All-Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) while nearly breaking the program's single-season digs record with 953.
Kleinhenz, Thomas and Yates also saw action in all 48 matches last year. Kleinhenz had 168 kills and 101 blocks, while Thomas, an Honorable Mention All-OCCAC selection, had 310 kills and 188 blocks. Yates had 105 kills and 86 blocks.
Hobbs, who played in 44 matches, had 151 kills and 79 blocks, while Geyman had 71 digs in 36 matches.