Volleyball picked 6th in Big Sky poll

By Portland State  Aug 14 2015, 1:11 am — Leave a comment
Portland State Volleyball Big Sky Poll

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland State volleyball team opened its fall camp Monday with a pair of practices at the Peter W. Stott Center. It was the first step in the Vikings’ pursuit of getting back to the top of the Big Sky Conference with a roster full of fresh faces.

“Things went really well on our first day,” ninth-year Head Coach Michael Seemann said. “We are taking it very slowly. Half of what the first day is is learning how to learn; using the same language and understanding what we’re looking for when we give verbal feedback. We had everyone’s best and I am very pleased with the athletic ability in the gym.”

The Vikings return just four letterwinners from a year ago while they add nine newcomers, seven true freshmen, to the roster.

Setter Erin Clark and middle blocker Sarah Liva saw significant playing time last season starting 22 and 29 matches respectively. Clark will enter camp in a competition for the staring setter position with sophomore transfer Kylie Copple, who transferred to PSU last spring.

Tasha Bojanic enters camp as the odds-on favorite to move into the libero position while middle blocker Emani Jackson will look to improve on valuable playing time in 2014.

The biggest question mark going into camp will be how quickly Seemann and his staff will be able to get the seven freshmen up to speed and ready to start the season. The Vikings have an entirely new outside hitter rotation. Junior transfer Pati Anae, freshmen Sarah BrennanJenna Mullen, and Eva Linden will all be vying for playing time.

Katy Wilson and Mikaelyn Sych will join Liva and Jackson in the middle while Hadley Heck and Olivia Skalbeck will compete as defensive specialists.

“We don’t have a lot of quiet, shy, people,” Seemann added. “They’ve been very open and that’s something we value a lot, their connection on the court. We’re already making progress even after one day.”

The Vikings will take to the court on Saturday, Aug. 22 for their annual Alumnae Match at 5 p.m. at the Stott Center. They open the season on the road at the Northwest Challenge hosted by Gonzaga in Spokane, Wash., on Aug. 28 against Boise State.

Big Sky Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll

The Vikings were selected to finish sixth in the Big Sky Conference this season in the league’s preseason coaches’ poll. Idaho State, the defending regular season champions, narrowly edged Northern Arizona for the top spot. The Bengals received 108 total points with four first-place votes while the Lumberjacks earned 106 points and three-first place votes.

North Dakota came in third with 101 points and three first-place votes. Northern Colorado matched UND with 101 points but picked up the fourth spot with a pair of top-place votes. The Bears rolled through the Big Sky Tournament without dropping a set to win their fourth title in the last six years.

Idaho came in just above the Vikings in fifth with 84 votes. Portland State picked up 65 votes for sixth with Montana (53), Eastern Washington (52), Southern Utah (34), Sacramento State (30), Weber State (30), and Montana State (28) rounding out the poll.

1 Idaho State 108 (4)
2 Northern Arizona 106 (3)
3 North Dakota 101 (3)
4 Northern Colorado 101 (2)
5 Idaho 84
6 Portland State 65
7 Montana 53
8 Eastern Washington 52
9 Southern Utah 34
10 Sacramento State 30
Weber State 30
12 Montana State 28

Portland State

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