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In loaded GPAC, Dakota Wesleyan volleyball picked sixth in preseason poll

The conference projection comes one day after the NAIA preseason top-25 coaches poll came out, which had DWU ranked No. 15 and fifth among the GPAC teams.

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Dakota Wesleyan's Madeline Else sets the ball in a match against Saint Xavier University (Ill.) in the first round of the NAIA National Tournament on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at the Corn Palace.
Mitchell Republic file photo
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SIOUX CITY, Iowa — In a crowded top of the Great Plains Athletic Conference, Dakota Wesleyan University was selected to finish sixth in the preseason volleyball poll, which was announced by the conference on Thursday, Aug. 11.

The conference projection comes one day after the NAIA preseason top-25 coaches poll came out, which had DWU ranked No. 15 and fifth among the GPAC teams.

DWU was 25-10 in 2021 and finished the season ranked No. 14 in the country after advancing out of the opening round of the NAIA tournament and reaching the final 24 in Sioux City, Iowa, where they went 1-1 in pool play.

In the GPAC survey, Jamestown was the GPAC regular season and tournament champion off an 19-0 combined record in those matches. The Jimmies had six first-place votes, with Midland second at 107 points and three first-place votes and Northwestern was third with 98 points and three first-place nods. Concordia was fourth (90 points), College of Saint Mary at fifth (82) and Dakota Wesleyan was sixth at 80 points. Dordt (63), Doane (48), Hastings (44), Briar Cliff (28), Morningside (26) and Mount Marty (11) round out the rankings.

At the end of the 2021 season, seven GPAC teams were ranked (No. 3 Jamestown, No. 6 Concordia, No. 8 Northwestern, No. 10 Saint Mary, No. 12 Midland, No. 14 Dakota Wesleyan and No. 18 Dordt). In the 2022 national preseason rankings, No. 2 Jamestown leads the pack, followed by No. 5 Midland, No. 8 Northwestern, No. 11 Concordia, No. 15 Dakota Wesleyan, No. 18 Saint Mary, and No. 24 Dordt.

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DWU opens the season on Aug. 18 in a four-match tournament in West Palm Beach, Florida, hosted by Keiser University, which is the first of 10 road or neutral-site matches to open the season. The Tigers open the home schedule on Sept. 9 against Briar Cliff.

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