WAYNE – In just about three weeks the Wayne State College volleyball team and Scott Kneifl will enter his 14th season as head coach for WSC opening their 2019 season.
According to a release from the league office in Burnsville, MN Monday morning, Wayne State has been tabbed fourth in the 2019 NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The ‘Cats received 178 points overall.
Northern State is the top preseason team with 209 points and nine first-place votes, followed by Concordia-St. Paul (five votes) and Minnesota Duluth (four votes) with 203 points overall tied for second. Southwest Minnesota State received the final first-place vote and rounded out the top five teams with 170 points.
NSU, was NSIC co-champions (Minnesota Duluth) from last year and are coming off a season in which they won a share of the regular season title and advanced to the NCAA Central Region Tournament. UMD won the 2018 NSIC Tourney last season.
Minnesota State-Mankato (146), Winona State (135), St. Cloud State (126), Upper Iowa (125) and Sioux Falls (114) closed out the top 10 while Augustana (78), MSU Moorhead (76), Bemidji State (43), Minot State (42), Minnesota Crookston (38) and University of Mary (34) capped off 11th – 16th.
A year ago, WSC closed out their season with a three-set loss to Southwest Minnesota State in the first round of the NSIC tournament with a 22-9 overall record going 13-7 in the NSIC. The 22-wins marked the 13th time that coach Kneifl has led Wayne State to a 20+ win season. Wayne State will return five starters and its libero from last year’s team.
This year’s NSIC Preseason Player of the Year is senior middle blocker Sara Macek of Concordia-St. Paul. Wayne State’s preseason player to watch is junior middle blocker Jaci Brahmer.
The 6-1 Pierce native was tabbed second team All-NSIC during her freshman and sophomore seasons where she also led WSC in attack percentage both years (.307 – 2018/.329 – 2017). Last season, Jaci tied for first in the league with 1.16 blocks per set while averaging 2.29 kills per set.
Wayne State College will open their 2019 campaign with four-games during the Missouri Southern Tournament in Joplin, Missouri on Friday and Saturday, September 6-7. WSC will face Cameron University (OK) at 11 a.m. and Southwest Oklahoma State University at 5 p.m. Friday as well as Black Hills State University (S.D.) at 9 a.m. and Colorado State University – Pueblo at 3 p.m. Saturday.