The Wayne State College volleyball team was selected to finish sixth in the 2017 Preseason NSIC Volleyball Coaches’ Poll released Thursday by the league office in Burnsville, Minnesota. Wildcat senior rightside hitter Erin Gross was tabbed as the Player to Watch in the NSIC this season.
The Wildcats collected 157 points in voting conducted by league coaches. Wayne State returns four starters from last year’s team that was 24-8 overall and sixth in the NSIC with a 14-6 league mark while advancing to the NCAA Division II National Tournament for the 11th time in the last 12 years.
Concordia-St. Paul was tabbed the team to beat in the NSIC this season receiving 218 points and 10 first-place votes. Southwest Minnesota State came in second at 202 points with three first-place votes, just edging third place Minnesota Duluth with 201 points and two first-place votes. Augustana was one point better than Winona State for fourth place, receiving the final first-place vote and 172 points with Winona State right behind at 171.
Wayne State was sixth with 157 points followed by Sioux Falls (146), Northern State (133), Minnesota State (113) and MSU Moorhead at 77. Rounding out the Coaches’ Poll were Upper Iowa (74), Minnesota Crookston (71), St. Cloud State (70), University of Mary (54), Bemidji State (46) and Minot State (15).
Wildcat rightside hitter Erin Gross was listed as the Player to Watch in the NSIC this season. The 6’1″ senior form Tekamah (Tekamah-Herman HS) was a Second Team All-NSIC selection last season after averaging 2.50 kills and 0.75 blocks per set while posting a .288 percentage. She was named NSIC Offensive Player of the Week honors twice last season.
Wayne State College is scheduled to open the 2017 season on Friday, September 1st at the Colorado Mines Oredigger Volleyball Classic in Golden, Colorado vs. Rollins (Fla.).