SMSU VOLLEYBALL: Mustangs picked fifth in NSIC Preseason Poll

Independent file photo Members of the SMSU volleyball team celebrate after scoring a point during their Oct. 19, 2018 match against MSU Moorhead.

BURNSVILLE – The Southwest Minnesota State University’s women’s volleyball team was picked to finish fifth in the annual 16-team Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll that was released on Monday.

Northern State was selected as the preseason favorites to win the conference earning 209 points and six first place votes (coaches can’t vote for their own school). Concordia-St. Paul (five first place votes) and Minnesota Duluth (four first place votes) both finished in second place with 203 points, followed by Wayne State with 178 points and SMSU with 170 points including one first place vote.

Sara Macek, a senior middle blocker from Concordia-St. Paul, was named the NSIC Preseason Player of the Year.

SMSU junior outside hitter, Angela Young, was named an NSIC “Player to Watch”. Young finished second on the team last season with 332 kills and recorded a .270 hitting percentage.

SMSU, which is coming off of 23-9 season in 2018, including its 15th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, opens practice next Monday. The Mustangs open the season on Sept. 5-7 with four matches at the Michigan Tech Classic in Houghton. SMSU opens its 10-match home schedule on Sept. 27 versus Northern State.

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