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UMD Ranked 3rd in AVCA Division 2 Preseason Poll

UMD Volleyball UMD Volleyball |  Photo: WDIO (Archive Photo)

Created: August 09, 2018 06:42 PM

Duluth, Minn. - How tough is the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) in volleyball? The top three in the conference preseason poll are also the top three in the national preseason rankings by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

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Zeroing in on 16-plus years in the national rankings, the Bulldogs came in at No. 3 in the national preseason coaches' poll released Thursday afternoon. UMD, which finished 26-7 overall in 2017, has been ranked in every poll since Sept. 10, 2002 -- a stretch of 219 consecutive polls, the longest active streak in Division II.

Like the preseason poll, the AVCA poll placed Concordia-St. Paul, Southwest Minnesota State University and the Bulldogs in the top three, ranked in that order, as well. UMD complied 1015 points and slid up one spot from the final poll last year. In total, six NSIC teams cracked the preseason top 25, with defending NCAA II champions Concordia-St. Paul receiving 1198 points and all but one (Lewis University nabbed the other) of the 48 first-place votes. SMSU (No. 2, 1077 points), Winona State University (No. 5), Northern State University (9th, 729), Winona State University (17th, 397) and Augustana University (23th, 215) rounded out the league's representatives in the rankings.

UMD, which officially started practice Wednesday, kicks off the 2018 season in St. Augustine, Florida. The Bulldogs will take on both the University of Findley and host Flagler College, whom both received votes in the preseason poll, in the Flagler Saints Invitational on August 24.

To see UMD's schedule, click here.

(Contributions from Evan Smegal of UMD Athletics.)

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