The Northern Illinois volleyball team is once again predicted to finish near the top of the conference in 2013, as the Huskies were picked second in the Mid-American Conference’s West Division by the league’s coaches.
NIU received four first place votes in the poll and was one of four schools that received votes to win the MAC Tournament championship.
In the MAC West, the Huskies trailed only Western Michigan, who received five first place votes. Meanwhile, Central Michigan got three first place votes and finished third, followed in order by Ball State, Eastern Michigan and Toledo.
For the MAC East, defending tournament champion Bowling Green topped the list with seven first place votes. Meanwhile, Ohio was pegged second after receiving the other five votes. Following the Falcons and Bobcats were Miami (Ohio), Buffalo, Akron and Kent State.
The Huskies also picked up two votes to win the MAC Tournament in November, tying them with Western Michigan. Bowling Green and Ohio were selected as co-favorites to win the tournament after claiming four votes apiece.
Northern Illinois enters the 2013 season with several key members of last season’s 21-15 squad, including 2012 All-MAC honoree Sarah Angelos. The Huskies also return their points leader from a season ago in junior MacKenzie Roddy, along with MAC All-Freshman Team pick Alexis Gonzalez and veteran libero Justine Schepler.
NIU opens its season Friday, Aug. 30, and Saturday, Aug. 31, with the NIU Invitational, as they host No. 23 Ohio State, Liberty and Green Bay.
For more information on NIU volleyball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.