NCAA VOLLEYBALL: SMSU rated fifth in first region poll

INDIANAPOLIS – The Southwest Minnesota State University volleyball team debuted at No. 5 in the first NCAA Division II Central Region rankings released Wednesday afternoon by the NCAA national committee.

The Mustangs are 18-6 this season and sit in third place in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference with a 13-3 record. SMSU, which is ranked No. 8 in this week’s AVCA Top 25 poll, has a 14-5 record versus teams in the NCAA Central Region.

SMSU is one of five NSIC schools to appear in the regional rankings – No. 1 Concordia-St. Paul, No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth, No. 8 Augustana, No. 9 Northern State, and No. 10 Wayne State. The Mid-America Athletic Association (MIAA) has three teams ranked – No. 2 Central Missouri, No. 3 Washburn and No. 7 Nebraska-Kearney. No. 6 Harding is the lone representative of the Great American Conference (GAC).

The top eight teams in the region advance to the NCAA Region Tournament on Dec. 5-7. Automatic bids are granted to the winners of the GAC, MIAA and NSIC postseason tournaments, with the remaining five spots awarded on an at-large basis.

The NCAA Volleyball Selection Show will air on on Monday, Nov. 25 at 6:30 p.m. CT