ST. PAUL, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Morris volleyball team was picked to finish second in the UMAC Preseason Poll, released by the conference office on Wednesday. The Cougars had 43 points and one first-place vote in the poll.
The Cougars and the University of Northwestern have dominated the UMAC in recent years and the preseason poll features the Eagles topping the league standings with 49 points and seven first-place votes after winning the 2020-21 UMAC title. The Cougars follow them in second place and have the other first-place vote available in the vote of the UMAC head coaches.
The University of Wisconsin-Superior sits solidly in third place with 37 points in the poll. Bethany Lutheran College (28 points) and Northland College (26 points) look to battle it out in the middle of the pack. Rounding out the preseason poll were North Central University in sixth place (18 points), Martin Luther College in seventh place (15 points), and Crown College in eighth place (eight points).
UMN Morris brings back key pieces from every area of the court in 2021. Setter McKenzie Newton was the UMAC Rookie of the Year and a First Team All-UMAC selection after averaging over nine assists per set in her freshman season. The Cougars also welcome back the defensive capabilities of senior Alyssa Ukestad (4.38 digs per set) and junior Maggie Jones (a UMAC-best 1.17 blocks per set in 2020-21), each of whom were named Second Team All-UMAC a season ago.
Minnesota Morris opens its season on September 1 with a road match at Bethel University. The home opener on September 8 against UW-River Falls is sandwiched in between a pair of weekend tournaments on the road. The Cougars will host seven UMAC matches in the month of October, starting on Homecoming Weekend with a 7 p.m. match against Northland on Oct. 1 and an 11:30 a.m. match facing UW-Superior on Oct. 2.
Points (First-Place Votes)