WAYNE – After tying for seventh in the NSIC regular season during the 2017 campaign, the Wayne State College volleyball team was tabbed fifth in the 2018 Preseason NSIC Volleyball Coaches’ Poll.
Released Tuesday afternoon by the league office in Burnsville, Minnesota, the Wildcats received 164 points in voting conducted by league coaches.
The defending NCAA Division II national champions, Concordia-St. Paul topped all teams with 15 first-place votes and 225 points as the unanimous favorite to win the league this season. Southwest Minnesota State followed in second with the remaining first-place vote and 210 points, Minnesota Duluth followed in third (194) and Northern State just ahead of the Wildcats at fourth with 176 points.
Wayne State College will return five starters who posted a 19-12 record last season tying for seventh with a 12-8 league record. This year’s Player to Watch, selected by the NSIC, was awarded to Megan Gebhardt.
The Lutheran High Northeast graduate is a two-year starter for the Wildcats and averaged 9.60 assists per set last season to rank seventh in the NSIC with six double-doubles. Gebhardt also excels in the classroom, earning CoSIDA Academic All-American Second Team honors with a 4.00 grade point average majoring in finance.
This year’s NSIC Preseason Player of the Year was awarded to senior outside hitter Taylor Reiss of Southwest Minnesota State.
Wayne State College, who has been ranked in every regular season AVCA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll since September 28, 2009, is scheduled to open the 2018 season on Friday, August 24th at the Embry-Riddle Tournament in Daytona Beach, Florida vs. Westminster (Utah) at 11 a.m.
2018 Preseason NSIC Volleyball Coaches’ Poll
- Concordia-St. Paul (15) 225 pts.
- Southwest Minnesota State (1) 210 pts.
- Minnesota Duluth 194 pts.
- Northern State 176 pts.
- Wayne State 164 pts.
- Augustana 145 pts.
- Winona State 138 pts.
- Upper Iowa 130 pts.
- Sioux Falls 123 pts.
- Minnesota State 102 pts.
- St. Cloud State 89 pts.
- MSU Moorhead 75 pts.
- Minnesota Crookston 50 pts.
- University of Mary 40 pts.
- Bemidji State 31 pts.
- Minot State 28 pts.