Idaho Named No. 3, EWU No. 7 In Preseason Big Sky Volleyball Pol - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Idaho Named No. 3, EWU No. 7 In Preseason Big Sky Volleyball Poll

In its first year back in the conference Idaho volleyball was named No. 3 in the Big Sky Preseaon poll, with EWU taking seventh. In its first year back in the conference Idaho volleyball was named No. 3 in the Big Sky Preseaon poll, with EWU taking seventh.

by Big Sky Conference Media Relations

OGDEN, Utah (August 12, 2014) - In a vote by the league's head volleyball coaches, Idaho State and Northern Arizona were selected as co-favorites to win the 2014 Big Sky Conference title.

Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team in the preseason poll, which was released Tuesday by the league office.

Idaho State and Northern Arizona tied for first with four first-place votes and 108 points each. ISU finished the 2013 season with a 23-12 overall record. After going 14-6 in conference, Idaho State earned the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament. The Bengals defeated No. 6 Northern Colorado and No. 2 North Dakota before topping the No. 1 seed and host Portland State in the championship. Idaho State advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 1990 season. Idaho State lost in the first round 3-1 to Hawai'i. The Bengals will be returning Tressa Lyman, a Big Sky First Team selection as well as Makenzie Filer, the 2013 Big Sky All-Tournament MVP.

Northern Arizona finished the 2013 season fourth overall with a 13-7 conference record. The Lumberjacks advanced to the Big Sky Conference tournament for its second consecutive year. NAU fell in the quarterfinals to No. 4 Montana 3-2. Northern Arizona is looking to advance to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1999. The Lumberjacks return Janae Vander Ploeg, a First Team selection and Sydney Kemper, a Second Team selection.

Idaho, who rejoined the league on July 1, was picked to finish third with two first-place votes and 95 total points. The Vandals finished the 2013 season with a 19-11 overall record and an 11-5 conference record, tying for third in the Western Athletic Conference. UI lost in the semifinals to No. 1 seed New Mexico State. While the University of Idaho was in the Big Sky Conference from 1963-1996, the Vandals won the Big Sky tournament in its final four seasons.

North Dakota was picked to finish fourth with two first-place votes and 92 total points. UND was a co-regular season champion with Portland State after finishing 17-3 in conference. It was North Dakota's first ever Big Sky championship in any sport since it joined the league in 2012. UND lost in the semifinals of the tournament to eventual champion Idaho State. Second Team selection Nikki Husfeldt will return for UND for the 2014 season.

Northern Colorado was selected to finish fifth with 86 total points. The Bears, who have won three titles in the last five years, finished the 2013 season in a tie for sixth place with a 10-10 conference record. UNC lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion, Idaho State. The Bears will return Second Team selection Brianna Strong.

Portland State was picked to finish sixth with 84 total points. The Vikings finished the 2013 season with a 17-3 conference record, giving PSU the No. 1 seed at the tournament. Portland State defeated Montana in the semifinals before falling to Idaho State in the championship match. PSU will lose four starters including four-time First Team selection and the 2013 MVP in setter Garyn Schlatter. Kasimira Clark, the reigning Libero of the Year, will return to the court in 2014 for the Vikings.

Eastern Washington was picked to finish seventh with 60 total points. The Eagles finished the 2013 season with a 7-13 conference record, good for eighth in the standings. EWU will be without head coach Wade Benson for an indefinite amount of time and will be led by Michael King. The Eagles will return Honorable Mention selection, Allie Schumacher.

Rounding out the poll was Sacramento State (8th, 49 points), Montana (9th, 35), Montana State (10th, 33), Weber State (11th, 26) and Southern Utah (12th, 16).

The 2014 season begins August 29, and the first conference match will be played September 25.

For the 2014 season, we will have two divisions in volleyball. Eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, Montana State, North Dakota and Northern Colorado will be in the North Division. Idaho State, Northern Arizona, Portland State, Sacramento State, Southern Utah and Weber State will be in the South Division.

The top eight teams will advance to the 2014 Big Sky Championship. The top eight will be decided by overall conference winning percentage, regardless of division.

The Championship will be November 20-22 and will be hosted by the regular-season champion.

  • College

    • Early Goal Enough for Battlin’ Bears Women to Defeat EOU

      The Rocky Mountain College women’s soccer team used a goal just over 90 seconds into the game to pick up a 1-0 win over Eastern Oregon on Sunday afternoon at Wendy’s Field...

    • Rocky Men's Soccer Celebrates Seniors with 10th Straight Win

      The seventh-ranked Rocky Mountain College men’s soccer team closed out its home slate of games with a 3-0 win over Eastern Oregon on Sunday afternoon at Wendy’s Field.

    • Eastern drops first Big Sky game at Southern Utah 46-28

      The first quarter seemed to come easy for the No. 8 Eastern Washington University football team. But the last three were excruciating.

    • Last Second Field Goal Lifts Cats to Win Over Northern Colorado

      Montana State made a furious second-half comeback that eventually led to the Bobcats converting on a 27-yard field goal as time expired to defeat Northern Colorado, 27-24, at Nottingham Field on Saturday.

    • Rocky Mountain Offense Struggles in Loss to Carroll

      Rocky Mountain compiled just 192 yards of total offense in the game.

    • Whitworth hits offensive strides; defeats Puget Sound 38-23

      SPOKANE, Wash. – Senior quarterback Ian Kolste made a successful return from an ankle injury to lead Whitworth to a 38-23 win over visiting Puget Sound and set his team's career record for total offense along the way. Kolste, who was injured on October 7th against George Fox and missed all of the following week's win at Pacific Lutheran, completed 20 of 32 passes for 224 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in two quarters of play, leading the Pirates to a 31-7 half...
    • Missouri routs Idaho 68-21

      COLUMBIA, Mo.- Idaho struck first, but Missouri scored 37 unanswered points en route to a 68-21 victory over the Vandals Saturday, in Columbia, Mo.   After Armond Hawkins intercepted Missouri quarterback Drew Lock on the first play from scrimmage, Matt Linehan found Kaden Elliss for a seven-yard touchdown as Idaho (2-5) took a 7-0 lead. Big plays helped the Tigers (2-5) answer the score and a punt return touchdown put Missouri on top for good. The Tigers led 51-14 at halftime....
    • Friday Night Blitz Highlights and Scores 10/20

      Check out your high school football from week 9, as well as playoff soccer in Class AA!

    • Eagles to play Southern Utah in Big Sky Conference matchup

      After a 31-19 home triumph versus Montana State, the Eagles are now 4-0 in the Big Sky Conference standings just ahead of Northern Arizona at 3-0.

    • Whitworth to host Puget Sound Saturday on SWX

      Whitworth University returns home to take on its oldest football rival on Saturday when the Pirates host the University of Puget Sound in the Pine Bowl at 1:05 pm.  The game televised regionally on SWX and will be heard live in Spokane on KSBN 1230am and on the world wide web at  The radio broadcast will begin at 12:45 pm.