WAUKESHA, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University women's volleyball team was picked to finish ninth in the Northern Athletics Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, released by the conference office, today, August 24. Defending regular season champion, Dominican, was tabbed to repeat.
The Sabres return five starters from the 2011 squad, which finished in a three-way tie for the final playoff spot, but missed the conference tournament due to the tie-breaker.
Dominican, which went 12-0 in the regular season, garnered 168 points, including 12-of-13 first-place votes. The Stars were upset in last year's conference tournament championship match by Edgewood, which was picked second in the preseason poll, garnering 152 votes and the remaining first-place tally.
Benedictine was third with 146 points, Maranatha fourth with 115, Wisconsin Lutheran fifth with 113 and Concordia Chicago sixth with 94 points to round out the top half.
Concordia Wisconsin (94 points) was tabbed seventh, followed by Lakeland (71), Marian (67), Aurora (59), Rockford (56), MSOE (43) and Alverno (14).
Teams begin play Aug. 31, while the conference schedule starts on Sept. 11. The conference tournament will take place Oct. 30-Nov. 3, with the tournament champion receiving the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
2012 Northern Athletics Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Dominican (12), 168
2. Edgewood (1), 152
3. Benedictine, 146
4. Maranatha, 115
5. Wisconsin Lutheran, 113
6. Concordia Chicago, 94
7. Concordia Wisconsin, 85
8. Lakeland, 71
9. Marian, 67
10. Aurora, 59
11. Rockford, 56
12. MSOE, 43
13. Alverno, 14
first-place votes in parentheses
voted by the conference's head coaches
13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 point scale used