The Ashland University volleyball team was picked to repeat as the GLIAC South champion in the preseason coaches' poll the league office announced on Tuesday (Aug. 6) morning.
The Eagles took nine of the 12 first place votes in the South Division after winning the division crown last season with a 14-2 conference record.
Ashland was 25-7 overall last season and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in seven seasons. The Eagles are entering their second season under head coach Kevin Foeman.
Six of the Eagles' seven losses came in five sets and they were not swept last season.
The Eagles bring back four members of last season's starting lineup, the entirety of which earned All-GLIAC honors. Last year's top three hitters are all returning as seniors Shelby Woycik and Sophi Cudworth and sophomore Erin Krupar combined for 1,093 kills and 10.5 points per set last season.
Sophomore setter Zoey Peck is also returning after being named the AVCA Midwest Region Freshman of the Year in 2018, dishing out 1,345 assists and helping the Eagles hit .233 as a team.
Ashland had the second-best block in the GLIAC last season (2.14 per set), but will need to replace its top two blockers, Reanne Neal and Michaela Ping, along with libero Kaitlin Bean.
The Eagles will also be able to integrate a pair of transfers, Brooke Pfeiffer and Lexi Lombardo, who were with the team last season but did not play due to transfer rules.
Ferris State was picked to repeat as champions of the GLIAC North. The full GLIAC poll follows.
|GLIAC South (First-Place Votes)||Points|
|1. Ashland (9)||57|
|2. Wayne State||43|
|3. Grand Valley State (2)||41|
|4. Davenport (1)||39|
|6. Purdue Northwest||12|
|GLIAC North (First Place Votes)||Points|
|1. Ferris State (8)||61|
|2. Michigan Tech (4)||57|
|3. Saginaw Valley||44|
|4. Northern Michigan||33|
|6. Lake Superior State||14|