Tigers Picked to Win GPAC Crown
The Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) volleyball coaches' preseason poll was released on Wednesday and Doane College is the preseason favorite to win the conference.
Doane, coming off a 27-8 season and a national tournament appearance, received five first-place votes and 94 points. The Tigers finished second in the GPAC last year with a 14-2 record. Northwestern went through the conference undefeated last year and is a narrow second place in the coaches' poll with 91 points and four first-place votes. The Red Raiders qualified for nationals as well.
It has been eight years since the Tigers were the preseason favorites. In 2003, Doane received 10 first-place votes after coming off a season in 2002 in which they won the GPAC regular season and post-season titles.
Doane returns five starters from last year's squad including All-Americans Susan Rollman (MB) and Ashley Axmann (OH). They are joined by Second Team All-GPAC performers Terra Andreasen (OH) and Emily Max (MB). Lisa Lord and Kellie Peterson split time on the right side last year and return as well.
The Tigers finished ranked No. 15 in the NAIA last year, the fourth time in five years that Doane has finished in the NAIA Top 25. The preseason NAIA poll will be released on August 16.
The complete GPAC coaches' poll is as follows...
1. Doane (94 pts, 5 first place votes)
2. Northwestern (91 pts, 4 first place votes)
3. Dordt (78 pts)
4. Nebraska Wesleyan (66 pts)
5. Hastings (61 pts, 2 first place votes)
6. Briar Cliff (59 pts)
7. Midland (49 pts)
8. Morningside (45 pts)
9. Dakota Wesleyan (27 pts)
10. Concordia (24 pts)
11. Mount Marty (10 pts)