Cullen Maksimowski, LSSULakers.com
BAY CITY, Mich.— The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference released its 2018 Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll Thursday with Lake Superior State coming in at sixth in the North Division.
Ferris State was tabbed the top team in the North with 61 total votes (11 first-place votes) while Michigan Tech (49) and Northern (43) rounded out the top three spots. Both Northwood and Saginaw Valley tied for fourth-place with 26 votes.
Atop the South Division, was Wayne State with 57 total votes (7 first-place) followed by Grand Valley (52) and Ashland (40) in the top-three. Davenport (30), Wisconsin-Parkside (26) and Purdue-Northwest comprise the fourth, fifth and sixth spots.
LSSU, who begins its second season under head coach Dave Schmidlin, is looking to continue positive momentum in its rebuild with a young team that features 10 underclassmen. Lake State finished 3-22 overall with a 1-15 mark in the GLIAC a season ago.
After graduating six seniors from last year's rotation, the 2018 squad will feature a heavy infusion of new talent as total of eight freshmen join the team representing Schmidlin's first recruiting class at the helm of the program.
Among the returning upperclassman for the Lakers is junior outside hitter Amanda Reid, who was second on the team in kills per set last season (2.53) and senior libero Paige Gotham, who led both the team and the GLIAC last season with a 5.30 digs per set average.
Also returning is senior setter, Lauren Lukasik, who led the team with 5.05 assists per set last season, senior defensive specialist Mikala Williams, senior outside hitter Morgan Kelly and junior middle blocker Caitlyn Kane.
Lake State kicks off its 2018 campaign on August 24 & 25 when they take on non-conference Upper Iowa, Rollins, Mercyhurst and Clarion at the Ferris State Invitational.
The Lakers are set to open their home and GLIAC slate on Sept.7 against Northern Michigan inside the Bud Cooper Gymnasium.
The 2018 GLIAC Tournament will get underway Nov. 7 with quarterfinal-round action at campus sites. The semifinals are slated for Nov. 10 on the campus of the highest remaining seeds while the championship match is to be held Nov. 11 on the highest-seeded team's home court.
2018 GLIAC Volleyball Preseason Poll Results
Format: Rank. Team - Total Votes (First Place Votes)
1. Ferris State - 61 (11)
2. Michigan Tech - 49 (1)
3. Northern Michigan - 43
T4. Northwood - 26
T4. Saginaw Valley - 26
6. Lake Superior State - 11
1. Wayne State - 57 (7)
2. Grand Valley State - 52 (4)
3. Ashland - 40
4. Davenport - 30 (1)
5. Wisconsin-Parkside - 26
6. Purdue Northwest - 11