Coaches pick UNI Volleyball to win the Valley

ST. LOUIS, Missouri – The UNI volleyball team was unanimously voted to finish first in the MVC by the leagues head coaches as announced by the conference office on Wednesday. The annual preseason poll ranked the Redbirds of Illinois State second with 89 points and Missouri and Bradley tied for third with 68 points.

The Panthers land two athletes on the Preseason All-Conference Team in returning 2018 First Team members Rachel Koop and Karlie Taylor. Taylor averaged 4.77 kills per set with 3.20 digs per set during her junior season, while Koop led the league with an 11.97 assists per set average. Taylor enters the season second all-time in UNI history with 3.86 kills per set after averaging 4.77 in 2018.

Along with Koop and Taylor the Panthers also return Second Team All-MVC selections Kate Busswitz and Jaydlin Seehase. With five starters returning in from last season’s Regular Season and Tournament Championship team, the Panthers look to begin 2019 right where they left off in 2018.

The Panthers have posted 34-straight winning seasons, which ranks as the fifth-longest active streak in Division I behind Hawaii (38), Nebraska (38), Penn State (38) and Stanford (38). The Panthers will have to navigate a very difficult schedule in 2019, facing five teams ranked in the preseason poll with #4 Texas, #7 Kentucky, #14 USC, #16 Marquette, and #18 Creighton along with two other teams receiving votes in Texas State and Missouri.

2019 Preseason Poll

Rank  Team (1st-place votes) ……………………Points

1. UNI (10) ……………………………………………….100

2. Illinois State…………………………………………… 89

3. Missouri State ………………………………………..68

     Bradley………………………………………………….68

5. Loyola………………………………………………….. 56

6. Drake ………………………………………………….. 54

7. Valparaiso…………………………………………….. 42

8. Indiana State…………………………………………. 28

9. Southern Illinois …………………………………….. 23

10. Evansville…………………………………………….. 22

2019 MVC Preseason All-Conference Team

PLAYER, TEAM                                   POS.       CL.          HT.         HOMETOWN (PREVIOUS SCHOOL)

Brittany Anderson, Valparaiso    S              Jr.           5-11       East Chicago, Ind. (Bishop Noll)

Amelia Flynn, Missouri State       OH          So.          6-0         Lake St. Louis, Mo. (Timberland)

Stef Jankiewicz, Illinois State       S              Jr.           5-10       Farmington Hills, Mich. (Harrison)

Rachel Koop, UNI                             S              Sr.           5-9         New Hartford, Iowa (Dike-New Hartford)

Kaylee Martin, Illinois State         OH          Jr.           5-9         Sterling, Ill. (Northern Illinois)

Karlie Taylor, UNI                             OH          Sr.           5-11       Eddyville, Iowa, (Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont)

Hannah Thompson, Bradley         DS           So.          5-8         Pekin, Ill. (Pekin)

Rick Coleman

Rick Coleman

Sports Director
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