Wayne State was picked to finish fifth in the 2016 Preseason Northern Sun Conference Volleyball Coaches Poll released Wednesday morning by the league office in Burnsville, Minn.
The Wildcats received 171 points and two first-place votes in voting that is conducted by league coaches. Wayne State returns three starters from last season’s team that finished fourth in the NSIC with a 16-4 league mark. The 2015 team won the school’s first-ever Central Region title while advancing to the NCAA Div. II national semifinals. It was the 10th time in 11 years that the Wildcats had advanced to the NCAA Div. II national tournament under head coach Scott Kneifl.
Concordia-St. Paul was selected as the NSIC volleyball preseason favorite for a 13th straight season, tallying 219 points and 13 first-place votes. Southwest Minnesota State came in second with 194 points and one first-place vote.
Minnesota Duluth was picked third with 185 points and Winona State came in fourth with 174 points. Wayne State was fifth with 171 points and two first-place votes followed by Augustana (169), Northern State (148), Minnesota State (137), Sioux Falls (105) and MSU Moorhead (101) to round out the top 10 teams.
Senior Alyssa Frauendorfer is listed as Wayne State’s Player to Watch in the NSIC this season. The 5-foot-11 middle hitter was a first-team All-NSIC and third-team AVCA All-American selection last season, averaging 3.16 kills and 0.74 blocks per set while hitting .345.
Wayne State College is scheduled to open the 2016 season on Friday, Sept. 2 vs. Mesa State (Colo.) at the West Golden Oredigger Volleyball Classic in Golden, Colo.