SIOUX CITY, Iowa. (KSNB) - Northwestern College tallied 119 points and was picked first in the 2019 Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Preseason Coaches' Volleyball Poll. The Red Raiders garnered ten of twelve first place votes.
Midland was picked second in the poll with 106 points. Dordt was picked third with 99 points and one first place vote, while Hastings came in fourth with 87 points and one first place vote.
Dordt was the GPAC Regular Season Champion in 2018 with a record of 16-0 and a 31-3 overall record. The Defenders also won the GPAC Postseason Tournament. Midland, Hastings, and Northwestern all tied for second on the GPAC last year each with a record of 13-3. Midland advanced to the NAIA Fab Four last December.
The 40th Annual NAIA National Volleyball Championship is set for December 3-7, 2019, at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. The GPAC regular and postseason champions will earn the automatic berth to the NAIA Volleyball Championship.
The NAIA Volleyball Championship will consist of 44 teams in 2019, with 32 advancing to the final site in Sioux City, Iowa. There will be 20 automatic qualifiers for the final site from the final ranking (top 19 plus local host If criteria is met). The other 12 teams will come from Opening Round winners played on November 23, 2019, at on-campus sites.
The 2019 GPAC volleyball season will consist of 16 conference matches with 12 teams competing for the conference crown. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team in the preseason poll.
2019 GPAC Preseason Volleyball Coaches' Poll:
Place – Team – Pts (1st Place Votes)
1. Northwestern - 119 (10)
2. Midland - 106
3. Dordt - 99 (1)
4. Hastings - 87 (1)
5. Jamestown - 84
6. Morningside - 68
7. Doane - 60
8. Concordia - 55
9. Dakota Wesleyan - 43
10. College of Saint Mary - 36
11. Briar Cliff – 24
12. Mount Marty – 11