Bulldogs ranked 4th in AVCA NCAA Division II preseason poll

Bulldogs volleyball coach Jim Boos. UMD Athletics
Bulldogs volleyball coach Jim Boos. UMD Athletics
University of Minnesota Duluth volleyball enters 2013 as the fourth best team in NCAA Division II, according to the American Volleyball Coaches Association Preseason Top 25 released today.

The Bulldogs received two first-place votes and moved up from a fifth-place ranking in the final poll of last season.

After finishing second in the conference poll last week, the Bulldogs once again find themselves joined by NSIC rival and defending NCAA Division II champion Concordia-St. Paul, who earned 43 of 48 first place votes and the top ranking in the country.

The NSIC has three of the top six teams in the poll and four of the top 25, with No. 6 Southwest Minnesota State and No. 20 Wayne State also on the list. Minnesota State Mankato and Winona State also received votes.

Aside from league opponents, the Bulldogs will take on three other preseason top-25 teams including No. 18 Wheeling Jesuit and No. 19 West Florida on Sept. 6 at the West Florida Opening Weekend Tournament. UMD’s schedule doesn’t get any easier in week two as it faces No. 9 Indianapolis at the Wis.-Parkside Tournament on Sept. 13.

Coach Jim Boos’ Bulldogs boast the NSIC Preseason Player of the Year in senior outside hitter Kate Lange and 11 straight NCAA tournament appearances as they enter a season as a top team in conference play as well as across the nation.

— UMD Athletics