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Doane Ranked No. 12 in NAIA Poll

Doane Ranked No. 12 in NAIA Poll

The NAIA released the 2011 Preseason Volleyball Coaches' Poll today and the Doane Tigers will open the season ranked in the Top 25 for the third straight season.  The Tigers, coming off a 27-8 record in 2010, open the season ranked No. 12.  Last week, Doane was chosen by the GPAC coaches as the preseason favorites this year in a close vote with Northwestern College.

Last year, Doane advanced to the NAIA National Tournament in Sioux City for the third consecutive year and took runner-up honors in the GPAC with a 14-2 conference mark.  This season, the Tigers return five starters including All-Americans Susan Rollman and Ashley Axmann.  A pair of Second Team All-GPAC performers return as well in Terra Andreasen and Emily Max.

Cindy Meyer begins her 25th year in charge of the Doane volleyball program when the Tigers open the season on Thursday against Daemen College (NY) in the Grace College Classic in Indiana.  The Tigers will play back-to-back matches on Thursday with the second match against Bethel College (IN).  On Friday morning, Doane will face Shawnee State University.  The Bears are receiving votes in the NAIA poll and advanced to the NAIA Tournament last season.  On Friday afternoon, Doane will face an opponent to be announced as the two pools will play a cross-over match based on pool records.  In the other pool, Indiana East and Grace are receiving votes in the preseason poll and could be a potential match-up for the Tigers.

For the GPAC, it is the first time since 2006 that the conference has not had a team in the Top 10.  That year, Dordt College was ranked No. 11 as they were coming off a 40-5 season.  At that time, the NAIA still had regional tournaments and two teams from the region were ranked high, National American University (4th) and Dickinson State University (8th).

In addition to the Tigers, the GPAC has two other teams in the Top 25 this year.  Northwestern, the defending conference champions, are ranked No. 15 and will host Doane on October 22 in Orange City.  The Tigers have not hosted Northwestern for a match in Crete since 2007.  The Red Raiders have taken the last six matches in Orange City over the past three years, which includes three post-season match-ups.  Dordt College is ranked No. 20 and will come to Crete on October 1.  It will mark a third straight trip to Crete as Doane hosted the Defenders in the regular season last year as well as the post-season.  The Defenders snapped the Tigers' home win streak at 22 with a five-set victory in October but Doane was able to pick up a little revenge with a three-set victory in the GPAC Semifinals.  Hastings College, the Tigers' home opener on September 7, is receiving votes in the poll.  The game will also mark the first volleyball match in the Haddix Center, which opened this past November.

There are five other opponents on the Tigers' schedule that are either ranked or receiving votes at this time.  Doane will face Taylor (#11) and Jamestown (#RV) next weekend in Orange City.  Over Labor Day weekend, Doane will take on Lubbock Christian (#23) and Grand View (#RV) at the Bellevue Classic.  On the second weekend in September, Doane will face College of the Ozarks (#RV) in Hastings.

Fresno Pacific is the preseason favorite in their final year in the NAIA before they move to NCAA Division II next season.  The Sun Birds have won the last four national titles.

2011 Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll

RANK

LAST TIME^

SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)

2010 RECORD

TOTAL POINTS

1

3

Fresno Pacific (Calif.) (16)

35-2

645

2

5

Columbia (Mo.) (3)

42-3

629

3

1

Lee (Tenn.) (3)

39-1

610

4

2

Texas at Brownsville (1)

38-2

595

5

7

Biola (Calif.)

28-10

574

6

8

Azusa Pacific (Calif.)

29-8

535

7

9

Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)

31-3

522

8

12

Embry-Riddle (Fla.)

33-4

484

9

11

Concordia (Calif.)

24-10

481

10

16

College of Idaho

25-7

458

11

10

Taylor (Ind.)

35-8

448

12

15

Doane (Neb.)

27-8

423

12

17

Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)

22-13

423

14

14

Southern Oregon

24-5

388

15

4

Northwestern (Iowa)

36-2

365

16

21

Bellevue (Neb.)

34-14

332

17

13

Indiana Tech

34-6

307

18

19

Rocky Mountain (Mont.)

25-9

273

19

22

Oklahoma Baptist

26-10

258

20

17

Dordt (Iowa)

32-8

244

21

23

Indiana Wesleyan

33-11

220

22

RV

Georgetown (Ky.)

25-12

215

23

RV

Lubbock Christian (Texas)

25-8

151

24

RV

Missouri Baptist

21-17

129

25

25

Aquinas (Mich.)

29-12

125

Others receiving votes: Indiana East 93; Viterbo (Wis.) 69; Madonna (Mich.) 64; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 47; Campbellsville (Ky.) 47; Westmont (Calif.) 46; Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 37; Jamestown (N.D.) 31; Carroll (Mont.) 23; Point Park (Pa.) 18; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 15; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 13; Grand View (Iowa) 10; Shawnee State (Ohio) 10; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 8; College of the Ozarks (Mo.) 7; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 5; Asbury (Ky.) 3; Hastings (Neb.) 3; Concordia (Ore.) 1; Grace (Ind.) 1; Friends (Kan.) 1; Spring Hill (Ala.) 1; Evangel (Mo.) 1.

^2010 Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches' Top 25 Final Poll.