Wildcats lead Central Region rankings


Wayne State College is ranked first in the second of three NCAA Div. II Central Region volleyball rankings announced Wednesday afternoon by the NCAA. 

Wayne State is one of seven NSIC schools listed in the rankings and is first with a 25-1 NCAA overall record as of Nov. 5. Concordia-St. Paul and Southwest Minnesota State from the NSIC are ranked second and third with Nebraska-Kearney and Central Missouri from the MIAA rounding out the top five teams.

Central Oklahoma is sixth with four NSIC teams closing out the top 10 teams in the region – Minnesota Duluth seventh, St. Cloud State eighth, Winona State ninth and Northern State 10th.

Wayne State is 26-1 overall and a perfect 17-0 in NSIC play heading into Saturday’s regular season finale hosting No. 9 St. Cloud State at 1 p.m. in Rice Auditorium. The Wildcats have won 19 straight games and ranked No. 1 in this week’s AVCA/TARAFLEX Div. II coaches poll for an eighth straight week.

The top eight teams in the region will advance to the NCAA Division II National Tournament Nov. 30-Dec. 3. Automatic bids are granted to the winners of the GAC, MIAA and NSIC postseason tournaments, with the remaining five spots awarded on an at-large basis. The NCAA Volleyball selection show will be streamed online on Monday, Nov. 20 at 6:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.

NCAA Central Region volleyball rankings are as follows (records as of Nov. 6, overall followed by in-region):

1. Wayne State (25-1, 24-1)
2. Concordia-St. Paul (23-2, 23-2)
3. Southwest Minnesota (22-4, 20-3)
4. Nebraska-Kearney (23-3, 23-3)
5. Central Missouri (19-7, 16-4)
6. Central Oklahoma (24-4, 22-4)
7. Minnesota Duluth (16-8, 13-7)
8. St. Cloud State (19-6, 15-5)
9. Winona State (18-7, 17-6)
10. Northern State (17-8, 16-8)