GLIAC -- The Saginaw Valley State University Volleyball team has been chosen to finish in fourth place in the GLIAC North Division for the upcoming 2018 season. The Cardinals finished in a tie with Northwood, each garnering 26 points from the league's head coaches.
Northern Michigan was picked third in the North with 43 points while Michigan Tech ranks second with 49 points and a single first-place nod. Ferris State is the coaches' favorite to win the division, collecting 11 first-place votes and 61 total points. Lake Superior State finished sixth in the North with 11 points.
In the South, Wayne State nabbed 57 points and seven first-place nods to finish in first. Grand Valley State had four first-place votes and 52 points to finish second. Ashland is third with 40 points, while Davenport had a first-place vote and 30 points and is fourth. League newcomer Wisconsin-Parkside had 26 points and is fifth while Purdue Northwest garnered 11 points and sits in the sixth slot.
2018 Saginaw Valley State Preview
The Saginaw Valley State University Volleyball team looks to bounce-back from a down 2017 campaign in which the team missed out on a GLIAC postseason tournament berth for just the first time since the 2012 season. The Cardinals will return plenty of experience from last season, having graduated just a pair of seniors from the 2017 roster.
SVSU returns plenty of offense, welcoming back four of five hitters that posted over 70 kills. Sarah Tabit returns on the outside after posting 301 kills in 2017, as does middle hitter Emily Friesl, who registered 148. Outside hitter Olivia Dean (87) and middle hitter Rachel Eisenhour (73) look to provide plenty of help on the offensive end as well. Along with those returners, the Cardinals welcome back Tamara Heller as well, who returns after missing last season. She was second on team in 2016 with 295 kills and was an All-GLIAC Second Team performer that season. Hannah Tabit returns as the primary setter, racking-up 781 assists a season ago, while Abbie Toland will continue to help anchor the defense as the libero. She registered a team-best 258 digs in the 2017 campaign.
The Cardinals get their season underway August 24-25 at the Wisconsin-Parkside Tournament before traveling to Barry University August 31-September 1 for another preseason tournament. GLIAC action gets going on Friday, September 7 at home against Michigan Tech.