Vikings Sixth, Cougars Seventh In The NSIC Preseason Volleyball Poll
For the 11th consecutive season, Concordia-St. Paul has been picked to win the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference volleyball crown in a vote of league coaches.
After winning the past seven NCAA Division II National Championships, the Golden Bears received all 15 first place votes. Coaches cannot vote for their own team. Minnesota-Duluth finished second in the coaches poll and received the other first place vote. Southwest Minnesota State was third and Northern State fourth.
The Wolves will boast NSIC Preseason Player of the Year in Kelsey Chambers. The Jordan, Minnesota junior was a third team American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American in 2013, the first NSU player to earn the honor in program history. Chambers was also an AVCA All-Region first team selection, a Daktronics All-Region Second Team and a first team All-NSIC member. She was third in the NSIC in points per set (4.71) and her .311 attack percentage was tenth best. She recorded seven double-doubles on the season while leading the Wolves in kills and hitting percentage and was second in double-doubles and digs.
Augustana was picked sixth in the coaches preseason poll. Vikings senior Courtney Ysker was tabbed as the Vikings' player to watch in the upcoming season. Ysker earned AVCA All-American Honorable Mention last season. Ysker also received AVCA All-Central Region Honorable Mention, as well as being named First Team All-NSIC. The Windom, Minn. native was second on team with 413 kills (4.01 per set) and 361 digs (3.50) in 2013. Ysker tallied a season-high 24 kills against Sioux Falls on Sept. 21. The senior had double digits in kills in 25 out of 30 matches last year.
The University of Sioux Falls was selected to finish seventh in the NSIC. Senior Emily Johnson of Platte was the coaches choice as the Cougars' player to watch. Johnson earned NSIC second team honors in 2013, was a member of the NSIC Challenge All-Tournament Team and a two-time conference all-academic selection. Johnson led USF in kills for the third straight season with 391, a 3.31 kill per set average and led the team with five double-doubles.
The 2014 NSIC Volleyball season will begin with non-conference matches on September 4 while the NSIC schedule begins September 16.