SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Lake Superior State volleyball team is ranked No. 6 in the North Division in the 2019 GLIAC Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll, as announced by conference officials on Tuesday.
In the Poll, the Lakers are ranked No. 6 in the North Division with 14 voting points. The top team in the North Division is Ferris State with 61 voting points and eight first-place votes. The No. 1 team in the South Division is Ashland with 57 voting points and nine first-place votes.
Lake Superior State looks to continue improving under third-year head coach Dave Schmidlin in 2019. After finishing 3-22 (1-15 GLIAC) in Schmidlin's first year as head coach in 2017, the Lakers went 5-22 (2-14 GLIAC) in 2018. LSSU also went to a decisive fifth set 13 times in 2018.
The Lakers begin the season with eight nonconference matches, including seven matches against teams from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference – highlighted by matches against top-10 opponents Southwest Minnesota State (Sept. 6, Michigan Tech Tournament) and Minnesota Duluth (Sept. 14, GLIAC/NSIC Crossover). The match against Southwest Minnesota State is the Lakers' regular-season opener, following an exhibition match against Alma on Sept. 3 at Bud Cooper Gymnasium.
LSSU starts conference play against Ferris State, which finished last season ranked 14th in NCAA Division II, inside Bud Cooper Gymnasium on Sept. 20. The Lakers are looking to improve upon a sixth-place finish in the North Division and an 11th-place overall GLIAC finish from a year ago.
The GLIAC Tournament is scheduled to begin with the quarterfinals on Nov. 20, followed by the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals on Nov. 23 and the GLIAC Tournament Championship on Nov. 24.
The Lakers return nine student-athletes, who saw action in 2018. They are joined by two redshirt freshman and 10 new student-athletes, including one transfer and nine freshmen. One of the key returners is senior outside hitter Amanda Reid, who set career highs in kills (310), kills per set (2.87), digs (357), digs per set (3.31) and points (354).
Another returner, who had an impactful freshman campaign in 2018, is sophomore setter Halle Grulke. Grulke was second on the team in assists (345) and assists per set (3.71), while adding 33 kills and 70 digs last season.
As a defensive specialist, sophomore Abby Beachnau played in all 27 matches in 2018 – tallying 191 digs.
For more information on the 2019 schedule, please click here.
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