Aug. 8, 2012
Bearcat volleyball tabbed 7th in preseason poll
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Northwest Missouri State volleyball squad was picked to finish seventh by MIAA coaches in the MIAA Preseason Poll released by the league Wednesday.
The Bearcats finished 14-17 overall and 8-10 in league play last season after earning the program’s first ever NCAA tournament appearance in 2010. With five returning starters the Bearcats look poised to improve in 2012 as Interim head coach Amy Phelps takes over after Jessica Rinehart stepped down in mid-July.
The defending MIAA Co-Champions Washburn Lady Blues were picked first receiving seven first place votes while Co-Champion Central Missouri earned four first place votes and are picked second.
The Jennies who finished tied atop the league standings with Washburn last season, finished just six points behind them in preseason voting taking four first place votes. The Jennies and Lady Blues represented the MIAA in the NCAA regional tournament last year as UCM defeated Washburn 3-1 to advance to the NCAA Elite Eight where they fell to eventual National Champion Concordia-St. Paul.
Newcomer Nebraska-Kearney comes in with the No. 3 ranking with 129 points coming in ahead of Emporia State who earns the No. 4 spot with 108 points. Truman who finished fourth in the league last year earns the fifth spot coming in just six points behind the Hornets in the voting.
Pittsburg State sets in the No. 6 spot heading into the 2012 campaign after finishing seventh in the league last year. Northwest sits at No. 7 with 66 points as just seven points separate the next four places. No. 8 Fort Hays State edges out No. 9 Missouri Western with 63 points versus just 62 points. Lindenwood in their first year as a member of the MIAA takes the No. 10 slot with 59 total points.
The bottom three slots are separated by just one point each as Southwest Baptist comes in at 11th with 28 points and Central Oklahoma and Missouri Southern round out the poll at No. 12 and 13.
The Bearcats open their season at Palm Beach Atlantic at the Hyatt Place Sunshine Classic Aug. 31-Sept. 1 and follow it up as they return to Missouri for the Missouri S&T Middle of Everywhere Classic in Rolla Sept. 7-8.
2012 MIAA Preseason
1. Washburn (7) 137
2. Central Missouri (4) 131
3. Nebraska-Kearney (2) 129
4. Emporia State 108
5. Truman 102
6. Pittsburg State 76
7. Northwest Missouri 66
8. Fort Hays State 63
9. Missouri Western 62
10. Lindenwood 59
11. Southwest Baptist 28
12. Central Oklahoma 27
13. Missouri Southern 26
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