WAYNE – After an early exit from the 2016 Central Regional, the Wayne State College volleyball team will look to get back on track from the 2015 season when the ‘Cats made a Final Four appearance.
According to a press release from the league office in Burnsville, Minnesota, the 2017 Preseason NSIC Volleyball Coaches’ Poll was announced Thursday afternoon. The NSIC Preseason Player of the Year is junior Taylor Reiss from Southwest Minnesota State.
The Wildcats have been tabbed sixth in the preseason poll with 157 points
Overall, for the 14th straight season the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears have been selected as the team to watch. Voting is conducted by league coaches as C-SP is receiving 10 first-place votes and 218 points overall. Southwest Minnesota State (202) followed in second with three first-place votes, Minnesota Duluth (201) in third with two first-place votes and Augustana University in fourth (172) with the remaining first-place vote.
Winona State sits fifth (171), WSC in sixth (157), Sioux Falls (seventh – 146), Northern State (eighth – 133), Minnesota State (ninth – 113), MSU Moorhead (10th – 77), Upper Iowa (11th – 74), Minnesota Crookston (12th – 71), St. Cloud State (13th – 70), University of Mary (14th – 54), Bemidji Sate (15th – 46) and Minot State (16th – 15).
The Wildcats will return four starters from last year’s team that went 24-8 overall and finished sixth in league play with a 14-6 record. WSC advanced to the NCAA Division II National Tournament for the 11th time in the past 12 years.
Wayne State College was also ranked 12th in the final AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) Division II Top 25 Coaches’ Poll for the 2016 season.
WSC’s player to watch this season is right side hitter Erin Gross. Gross is a 6’1” senior from Tekamah (Tekamah-Herman HS) who was a Second Team All-NSIC selection last season. She averaged 2.50 kills and 0.75 blocks per set while posting a .288 attack percentage. Gross was also named the NSIC Offensive Player of the Week twice in 2016.
The Wayne State College Wildcat volleyball team is scheduled to open the 2017 campaign on Friday, September 1 at the Colorado Mines Oredigger Volleyball Classic in Golden, Colorado taking on Rollins (Florida) at 11 a.m. WSC will also compete with Eastern New Mexico (9/1 at 3:30 p.m.) as well as Western New Mexico (9 a.m.) and Cal State-San Bernardino (1 p.m.) on Saturday, September 2.
The first home contest will be the NSIC opener for WSC when Sioux Falls comes to Rice Auditorium on Thursday, September 14 at 6 p.m.
2017 Preseason NSIC Volleyball Coaches’ Poll
- Concordia-St. Paul 218 pts.
- Southwest Minnesota State 202 pts.
- Minnesota Duluth 201 pts.
- Augustana 172 pts.
- Winona State 171 pts.
- Wayne State 157 pts.
- Sioux Falls 146 pts.
- Northern State 133 pts.
- Minnesota State 113 pts.
- MSU Moorhead 77 pts.
- Upper Iowa 74 pts.
- Minnesota Crookston 71 pts.
- St. Cloud State 70 pts.
- UMary 54 pts.
- Bemidji State 46 pts.
- Minot State 15 pts.