South Dakota volleyball fifth in NCC pre-season poll

South Dakota volleyball fifth in NCC pre-season poll The South Dakota volleyball team, which enjoyed its most successful season in school history a year ago, has been picked to finish fifth in the North Central Conference, according to a vote of the leagues coaches. In the poll, USD totaled 20 points, based on two fourth-place, two fifth-place and three-sixth place ballots from NCC coaches.

Last season, USD was 18-10 overall and captured second-place in the NCC with a school-record 9-3 mark. The Coyotes advanced to the NCAA Division II national playoffs for the first time in school history. At the regional, USD won its first-ever regional game, before losing in the regional semifinals of the national tourney.

In the 2005 poll, Minnesota-Duluth was picked by the coaches as the league favorite. The Bulldogs totaled 46 points on four first-place votes and three second-place votes (based on seven points for first, six points for second, etc.). Augustana was tabbed to finish second (38 points), while Nebraska-Omaha (36 points) and St. Cloud State (31 points) were picked to finish third and fourth, respectively. North Dakota finished sixth in the voting (14 points), while Minnesota State, Mankato was picked to finish seventh (11 points).

USD will open the 2005 season at the Northern Extreme Tournament hosted by the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks on Aug. 26-27. USD will take on Minnesota State, Moorhead (Aug. 26, 2 p.m.), Upper Iowa (Aug. 27, 10 a.m.) and Minnesota-Crookston (Aug. 27, 2 p.m.). The Coyotes� home opener will be Sept. 6 against Northern State at 7 p.m. in the DakotaDome.

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