Manchester University received 41 poll points on the 2017 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's coaches ranking, released Thursday, Jan. 26.
The Spartans, standing fifth, trailed a neck-and-neck race between preseason favorite Transylvania University and perennial power Anderson University at the front of the class among the first four. The Pioneers edged the Ravens 75-73 and had one more first-place vote. Hanover College wound up third (57 points and two first-place votes) followed closely by Franklin College (54 points) to round out the top quartet.
Coach Josh Dzurick's squad, which is slated to begin its 2017 schedule at home Saturday, March 4, against Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association member Hope College, had a pair of sophomores, a junior and a senior represent it on the Players to Watch section. Senior outfielder Emilee Liston (Cicero, Ind.), junior second baseman Laurren Ladwig (Crown Point, Ind.) and sophomores Mandy Boggs, a shortstop from Frankfort, Ind., and Kate Skeens, a third baseman from Gas City, Ind., were noted.