Indianapolis, Ind. – The results have been tabulated and Missouri S&T has been picked to finish 12th in the 2018 Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Women's Volleyball Coaches Preseason Poll, which was released this Thursday (Aug. 16) morning by the conference office.
The Miners totaled 55 points in the balloting, which was conducted by the conference's head coaches. A season ago, S&T was tabbed fourth in the GLVC's West Division Preseason Poll with 34 points before going on to post fifth-place finish in the league's final standings.
Lewis, which is ranked sixth nationally in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) NCAA Division II Coaches 2018 Preseason Poll, was selected as the preseason favorite to as the Flyers received 180 points and 11 first-place votes. Lewis claimed the 2017 GLVC Championship Tournament title and concluded the season as the nation's fifth-ranked team. Rockhurst, which picked up the remaining three first-place votes, accumulated 171 points in the poll. The Hawks, who were 2017 NCAA-II Tournament national semifinalists, are presently ranked 10thin the nation by the AVCA.
Illinois Springfield (149 points) was chosen third followed in order by McKendree (128 points), Bellarmine (125 points), Truman State (121 points), and Missouri-St. Louis (115). Indianapolis (105 points), Drury (99 points), and Southern Indiana (72 points) rounded out the top 10 placings, respectively. Quincy (62 points) was 11th with Missouri S&T garnering 12thplace in the preseason forecast. Comprising the final two in the 14-team conference poll were William Jewell (48 points) and Maryville (26 points).
Missouri S&T, under the direction of first-year head coach Andy Halaz, returns 11 letter winners from last season's 10-21 squad and 71.5 percent (1,006-1,407) of its kills production. A pair of outside hitters, senior Carlie Combs (O'Fallon, Mo./St. Dominic)(268 total) and junior Emilee Schlader (Lewiston, Idaho/Lewiston) (230 total) were the Miners' top two kills leaders from a year ago and are back to spearhead the offense. Defensively, S&T brings back 72.2 percent (1,431-1,981) of its digs output led by junior defensive specialist Corinne Stulce (St. Charles, Mo./Duchesne) (458 total) along with Carlie Combs (O'Fallon, Mo./St. Dominic) (256 total) and junior defensive specialist Eva Mich (St. Peters, Mo./Francis Howell Central) (203 total).
S&T opens its 2018 season next weekend, Aug. 24-25, at the Lindenwood Challenge in St. Charles, Mo. The Miners will play two matches each day, starting Friday, Aug. 24, versus Urbana (Ohio) at 10 a.m. (CT). S&T commences GLVC play on Friday, Sept. 7, as the Miners host Rockhurst in a 7 p.m. (CT) contest at Gibson Arena in Rolla, Mo.
This season, the GLVC will feature an 18-match schedule where each school will play all 13 opponents at least once. The conference's regular season champion along with the next seven best teams based on their league winning percentage will earn a berth into the eight-team 2018 GLVC Volleyball Championship Tournament, which will be conducted Nov. 8-10 at the EastSide Centre in East Peoria, Ill. In 2017, the GLVC utilized a newly-adopted three division (East, Central, and West) format.
Fans are encouraged to follow @GLVCsports on Twitter and Instagram – hashtag #GLVCvb along with stay tuned for complete coverage of all home league matches throughout this season on GLVCSN.com.
2018 GLVC VOLLEYBALL PRESEASON POLL