Dragons Volleyball Team Picked To Finish Seventh In The NSIC

Laura Tvrdik

Minnesota State Moorhead has been picked to finish in seventh place in the NSIC in the preseason coaches poll. Dragons senior right-side hitter Laura Tvrdik was named one of the preseason players to watch in the conference.

Below is the NSIC release on the preseason poll:

St. Paul, Minn. – For the seventh consecutive season the Concordia University, St. Paul Golden Bears have been picked by the league coaches in the NSIC Preseason Volleyball Poll. After winning the past three NCAA National Championships, the Golden Bears received 11 of a possible 13 first place votes (coaches cannot vote for their own team). The Golden Bears return All-American Emily Palkert, the coaches’ choice for Preseason Player of the Year.

Minnesota Duluth finished in second in the coaches poll as they edge out Minnesota State University, Mankato by five points, 147 to 142. The Bulldogs received two first place votes while the Mavericks garnered one. Wayne State (136) and SMSU (134) rounded out the top five in the poll.

2010 NSIC Preseason Player of the Year
#16 Emily Palkert (MH, 5-11, Sr., Excelsior, Minn. / Southwest Christian HS)

Concordia, St. Paul

Palkert was named to both the AVCA and Daktronics All-America First Teams last season as she helped the Golden Bears to their third consecutive NCAA DII National Championship. She also earned a spot on the NCAA All-Tournament Team as the Golden Bears went a perfect 37-0 last season. A NSIC First Team All-Conference Selection her first three years in the league, Palkert led the Golden Bears in kills for the third straight season, garnering 415 on the year for a 3.55 k/s average. She had a season .339 hitting average (41st in NCAA) and went into double figures for kills 24 times. She marked a season high 21 kills against Bemidji State on Oct. 9 and had 15 or more kills five times. She also led the team in blocks with 108 on the year (.92/s). She wrapped up her junior season ranking 5th at CU for kills (1,443), 3rd for hitting average (.320) and 5th for blocks (382). Palkert was the 2007 NSIC and AVCA National Freshman of the Year.

2010 Preseason NSIC Volleyball Coaches Poll
RK Team Points
1 Concordia, St. Paul (11) 166
2 Minnesota Duluth (2) 147
3 Minnesota State (1) 142
4 Wayne State 136
5 Southwest Minnesota State 134
6 Augustana 104
7 MSU Moorhead 95
8 Winona State 76
9 Upper Iowa 73
10 Northern State 62
11 St. Cloud State 54
12 Bemidji State 41
13 Minnesota, Crookston 25
14 University of Mary 19
first place votes in ( )

2010 NSIC Volleyball Players to Watch
Augustana College: #15 Jordan Spatenka (OH, 6-2, So., Owatonna, Minn. / Owatonna HS)
Bemidji State: #6 Nicole Olson (MH, 6-0, Sr., Baudette, Minn. / Lake of the Woods HS)
Concordia St. Paul: #1 Megan Carlson (OH, 5-9, Jr., Andover, Minn. / Andover HS / Marshall University)
University of Mary: #11 Laci Murtha (MB, 5-11, Sr., Hutchinson, Minn. / Hutchinson HS)
Minnesota, Crookston: #7 Amanda Swann (OH, 6-0, So., Rochester, Minn. / Rochester HS)
Minnesota Duluth: #4 Alyssa Nelson (MB, 5-11, Sr., Brownsdale, Minn. / Hayfield HS)
Minnesota State: #7 Amanda Beekman (OH, 6-0, Sr., Marshall, Minn. / Marshall HS
MSU Moorhead: #18 Laura Tvrdik (RS, 6-1, Sr., Farwell, Minn. / Minnewaska HS)
Northern State: #11 Jordan Schaffer (OH, 5-9, Sr., Redfield, S.D. / Redfield HS)
SMSU: #12 Devin Diedrich (MB, 6-0, Jr., Braham, Minn. / Braham HS)
St. Cloud State: #20 Ashley Shields (OH, 6-0, Sr., Milwaukee, Wis. / Whitefish Bay HS)
Upper Iowa: #4 Sara Vance (RS, 5-8, Sr., Tampa, Fla. / Walter L. Sickles HS)
Wayne State: #7 Jennifer Hefner (MB, 6-1, Sr., Archer, Neb. / Central City HS)
Winona State: #1 Shannon McGowan (Lib, 5-7, Jr., Naperville, Ill. / Nequa Valley HS)