The SMSU volleyball team was ranked fourth in the 2008 Preseason NSIC Coaches poll after finishing last season with a 26-8 overall record and 15-3 in the NSIC.
Concordia University-St. Paul was voted the preseason favorite for the fifth-straight year as the defending NCAA Division II National Champions.
Head coach Terry Culhane has gone 101-35 in his five years as the head coach of the Mustangs while appearing in four NCAA tournaments.
SMSU finished second in the NSIC last season and made its fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance. The Mustangs finished No. 12 on the final CSTV/AVCA Top-25 Poll.
This year, SMSU returns nine letter-winners including three All-NSIC performers. Junior middle blocker Leah Ashburn was named first team All-NSIC, while senior defensive specialist/libero Sarah Quiram and junior setter Sara Graff were named All-NSIC honorable mention.
Senior Kasey Loeslie will also be returning to the Mustangs after sitting out the 2007 season with an injury. Loeslie was named Al--NSIC honorable mention in 2006.
SMSU opened fall practice Monday and is scheduled to open the season Aug. 29 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. at the Nova Southeastern Classic.