Local sports briefs

SMSU volleyball sits 6th in national poll

The Southwest Minnesota State volleyball team opens the 2013 season ranked sixth in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division II top 25 preseason poll. It’s the seventh straight season the Mustangs have been ranked in the top 25 of the preseason poll and the third straight year they’ve been ranked No. 6.

The Mustangs received 935 points in the poll, while fellow Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference member and six-time defending national champion Concordia-St. Paul received 1,188 points and 43 first-place votes to earn the No. 1 spot in the poll.

The University of Tampa had 1,133 points and was No. 2 in the poll. Nebraska-Kearney (1,101 points), Minnesota-Duluth (1,057) and BYU-Hawaii (986) rounded out the top five.

SMSU has been ranked in the AVCA top 25 for 93 straight weeks dating back to 2006. The Mustangs finished 2012 with a 30-3 record and captured their first ever NSIC tournament championship.

SMSU begins fall camp Sunday and kicks off the regular season at the Grand Valley State (Mich.) Classic Sept 6-7.

Mustang men’s basketball team ranked 16th in nation in attendance

With an average of over 1,700 fans per game, the Southwest Minnesota State men’s basketball program ranked 16th in the country in the 2012-13 NCAA Division II attendance rankings that were released this week.

The Mustangs averaged 1,708 fans per game at the R/A Facility and had a total attendance of 20,498 in 12 home games.

SMSU’s conference, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, ranked second in the nation in men’s basketball average attendance and led the nation in total attendance at 289,319. The NSIC’s 1,280 fans per home game ranked second behind the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association’s 1,369 per game.

Ralco gets edge in Southwest Minnesota?Horseshoe League championship series

Ralco Feeds captured an 11-6 win over Tracy Food Pride Tuesday night in Balaton in Game 1 of a best-of-three series for the Southwest Minnesota Horseshoe League tournament championship.

Don Ebbinga won three of four rounds for Ralco against Tracy Food Pride competitors. He compiled 73 ringers over the four rounds.

Dale Wieme, Jason Buchert and Wally Runia each went 2-2 for Ralco in the win.

Ralco will try to clinch the series Aug. 20 in Tracy in Game 2 of the series.

Borch’s goes 2-0 in adult softball action

Borch’s Bulldogs went unbeaten in men’s Gold League softball play Wednesday at the Marshall Softball Complex, taking a 20-19 win against Larson’s and blowing out CW Outlaws 18-6.

Ralco had two 10-run innings in a 33-25 win against CW Outlaws, but couldn’t find its offense in a 21-6 loss against Larson’s.

In other games played Wednesday, Mama’s/Gambler topped Gambler/Valley Discount Liquor 22-10, and Gambler/VDL beat the Wooden Nickel Strugglers 18-6.