NCAA VOLLEYBALL: Mustangs now 10th in AVCA rankings

LEXINGTON, Ky. – With two wins over ranked opponents last weekend, the Southwest Minnesota State University volleyball team climbed four spots to No. 10 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Top 25 Poll.

The Mustangs defeated No. 17 West Florida and No. 11 Angelo State as SMSU took third place at the 2013 Colorado Premier Challenge.

For the third straight week a new team claimed the No. 1 spot. Minnesota-Duluth was awarded top billing with its 1,174 total points and 33 first-place votes.

Concordia-St. Paul, which defeated No. 1 University of Tampa to take first place at the Colorado Premier Challenge, gathered 1,129 total points and five first-place votes to slide into the No. 2 spot in the poll.

Tampa (1,093), BYU-Hawai’i (1,026) and Nebraska-Kearney (983) rounded out the top five.

SMSU earned 716 points in the poll after going 3-1 over the weekend with its lone loss coming at the hands of previous No. 1 Tampa in straight sets.

Wayne State (Neb.) was the final Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference member to be represented in the poll as the Wildcats moved up to No. 7 and grabbed four first-place votes in the process.

No. 5 Nebraska-Kearney (1), and No. 4 BYU-Hawai’i (2) also earned first-place votes in the poll.

SMSU has now been ranked in the AVCA Top 25 for 95 consecutive weeks, dating back to Sept. 5, 2006.

The Mustangs (5-3) begin their 20-match Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference schedule Thursday night in Sioux Falls with a matchup against Augustana. First serve is set for 7 p.m. at the Elmen Center.