NSU Volleyball leads NSIC preseason poll

Burnsville, Minn. – After a conference championship in 2018, the Northern State University volleyball team has been picked to win the league, per the NSIC Preseason Poll released Monday. The Wolves garnered 209 total points, including six first place votes at the top. Concordia-St. Paul and Minnesota Duluth tied for second with 203 points apiece.

Northern State enters the 2019 season after a 26-5 record in 2018, a final AVCA ranking of No. 10, the first NSIC Championship in program history, and a trip to the NCAA Central Region tournament. A season ago, NSU broke the single season school record for kills (1,598) and wins, while Ashley Rozell tallied a school record 1,375 assists. The Wolves and 2018 NSIC Coach of the Year, Brent Aldridge return a healthy roster from the 2018 squad, including six key contributors in Morgan Baufield, Ashley Rozell, Laura Snyder, Jenna Reiff, Jaiden Langlie, and Sally Gaul. Rozell, Snyder, Reiff, and Langlie each earned NSIC All-Conference accolades, while Rozell and Snyder were named to the AVCA All-America teams. Rozell was pegged as the team's player to watch for the league heading into the fall.

Rozell was named to the NSIC All-Conference first team and CoSIDA Academic All-District® team in 2018. She broke the single season school record for assists and is on track to break the career assists record this season. 2018 also brought the first AVCA All-American honors of her career. She currently sits top-5 all-time with 3,843 assists and 155 aces. This is the second straight year that Rozell has earned NSIC player to watch honors.

In addition, NSU boasts a roster of six more returners and four incoming freshman for the fall of 2019. Over the last four seasons, Northern has become a mainstay on the AVCA Top-25 spending 54 consecutive weeks listed. The 2019 Wolves open the season with eight tournament contests from the Colorado School of Mines and Drury, before kicking off NSIC play at home versus Augustana and Wayne.

The 2019 NSIC Volleyball season will begin with non-conference matches on Thursday, September 5 while the NSIC schedule begins Friday, September 20. The 2019 NSIC regular season champion will be determined by the 20-game conference schedule. The top eight teams will play in the single elimination NSIC Volleyball Tournament on November 22-24. All three rounds of the tournament will take place at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

NSIC Preseason Coaches' Poll

Rk. Team Points
1. Northern State (6) 209
2. Concordia-St. Paul (5) 203
Minnesota Duluth (4) 203
4. Wayne State 178
5. Southwest Minnesota State (1) 170
6. Minnesota State 146
7. Winona State 135
8. St. Cloud State 126
9. Upper Iowa 125
10. Sioux Falls 114
11. Augustana 78
12. MSU Moorhead 76
13. Bemidji State 43
14. Minot State 42
15. Minnesota Crookston 38
16. University of Mary 34
first place votes in ( )