Women’s soccer and volleyball were both picked third in the 2019 GLIAC Coaches Polls.
The soccer team received 64 points from the coaches while volleyball received 44 points. Coaches were asked to rank opposing teams.
A point value was assigned to each of the ranks.
Volleyball coach Will Stanton explained how he made his picks.
“Each coach is going to have their own process for deciding how they vote,” he said. “But I imagine many do as I do and look at how strong the team was the previous season and check how many players they lost to graduation or attrition.”
SVSU’s women’s volleyball had a young team last year that has gained experience. Stanton attributes their strong finish last year and retention of players to their placement in the GLIAC Coaches Polls.
“We had a strong finish last season, and we did not lose very many starters to graduation or attrition, so the Conference Coaches must feel that we have the ability to finish near the top again this season,” Stanton said. “We return five seniors that all contributed and that many girls with experience should get you pretty far in the conference play.”
Soccer coach Michel O’Neill doesn’t place too much weight on the GLIAC Coaches Polls and works hard to prepare for the season as best as they can regardless of their placement.
“We don’t read into the preseason polls and focus on preparing ourselves the best way we can for the start of the season,” O’Neill said. “We are focusing on what went well last season and making sure we execute on a consistent basis. We have made a couple of minor tactical adjustments, but the way we play and how we do things on and off the field should be very similar to the 2018 campaign.”
The women’s soccer team has had the opportunity to play together in preparation for the oncoming season. O’Neill expects there to be no easy games and the conference to be very strong.
“The girls have been working out as a team since early July, which really gives us an advantage as we start the season,” O’Neill said. “We were also fortunate enough to travel to Canada for a foreign tour in early August. These opportunities have allowed us to come together as a team much quicker than normal which should lay the foundation for a successful season.”
Women’s soccer plays its first conference game Friday, Oct. 4 , at 1 p.m. at the University of Wisconsin Parkside. Volleyball plays its first home conference game Friday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m. against Northwood University.