The Northwest Missouri State University volleyball team received 26 votes in the preseason American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll.
The Bearcats return three starters and 10 letterwinners from a squad that posted a 22-8 mark and finished fourth in the 2018 MIAA standings.
Head coach Amy Woerth enters her eighth year at the helm of the Bearcat program. Northwest is coming off a season which saw the Bearcats set a program record with 14 league victories.
Junior setter Maddy Ahrens (Appleton, Wisconsin) earned first-team all-MIAA honors last season after leading the MIAA in assists per set (11.49). Junior outside hitter Hallie Sidney (Chesterfield, Missouri) returns having notched second-team all-MIAA status in 2018. Sidney ranked second on the team in kills (336). Sophomore middle hitter/right side Bethany Elkins (Belton, Missouri) ranked second on the team in total blocks (71) and tied for the team lead in solo blocks (8).
Northwest will open the 2019 season Sept. 6 in Topeka, Kansas, with matches against Central Washington (10 a.m.) and Quincy (4 p.m.).
PRESEASON AVCA TOP 25
|Rank||School||Total Points Adjusted||First Place Votes Adjusted|
|2||Cal State San Bernardino||1040||0|
|5||Concordia – St. Paul||931||0|
|9||Southwest Minnesota State||732||0|
|15||Palm Beach Atlantic||487||0|
|19||Cal State L. A.||288||0|
|20||Cal Poly Pomona||244||0|
Others receiving votes and listed on two or more ballots: Gannon 61; Colorado Mesa University 58; Michigan Tech 55; Wayne State (Neb.) 49; Azusa Pacific 47; Sioux Falls 31; Colorado School of Mines 30; Ashland 26; Northwest Missouri State 26; Chaminade 25; Florida Southern 23; American International 19; Saint Leo 19; Angelo State 16; Hillsdale 16; Illinois-Springfield 12; Dixie State-Utah 6; California State University San Marcos 5. Six teams mentioned on only one ballot for a total of 18 combined points.