courtesy of NMU
MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University volleyball team, coming off both a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) regular-season title and Tournament Championship, has been picked second in the North Division in the 2021 Preseason Coaches Poll.
The Wildcats, who are receiving votes in the first 2021 AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Women’s Poll, will be led by 2020-21 GLIAC Freshman of the Year and GLIAC Tournament MVP sophomore Jacqueline Smith. The outside hitter returns after leading the team in total kills (242), kills per set (4.10), points (270), and points per set (4.6). She posted 2.88 digs per set which was second on the team.
NMU also brings back two other student-athletes who made the 2020-21 All-GLIAC First Team in Lauren Van Remortel and Meghan Meyer. Van Remortel, who will be a junior this coming season, was the primary setter for the Wildcats and had a team-high 749 assists as well as contributing 139 digs. Meyer returns after a freshman campaign where she led the team and conference in attacking percentage (.379) and notched a team-high 41 total blocks.
The Wildcats were picked No. 2 in the GLIAC North Division, receiving a total of 50 points in the poll with two first-place votes. Michigan Technological University took the first place slot in the North and overall with 51 total points and four first-place points.
Behind the first two Upper Peninsula schools in the North was Northwood University who came in third with 34 points. Wayne State University placed fourth with 28 points while Saginaw Valley State University was No. 5 with 22 points. Lake Superior State University rounded out the North rankings with 10 points for sixth place.
In the South, Grand Valley State University is the pick for the division title. The Lakers had 44 points and four first-place votes.
Ferris State University had 39 points for second place and garnered one first-place vote. Davenport University was third with 31 votes. The University of Wisconsin-Parkside received 19 points to earn fourth place followed by Purdue University Northwest in fifth with 12.
The Wildcats earned their fifth GLIAC Tournament title and 11th regular-season championship during the 2020-21 spring season. NMU posted a 15-2 overall record with a 12-2 GLIAC record. The Wildcats also had an impressive streak during the season going 11-0 from February 26 to March 27.
NMU hits the court for the first contest of their 2021-22 campaign on Thursday, September 2 at 6 p.m. at the Keweenaw Classic in Houghton, Mich. against Minnesota State University. The first home action for the Wildcats comes on Friday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. when they open GLIAC play against Ferris State.