Daily Egyptian

SIU volleyball voted to finish third in MVC preseason poll

Senior+middle+hitter+Taylor+Pippen+jumps+to+hit+the+ball+Sept.+5+during+the+Salukis%27+3-1+loss+to+Western+Kentucky+during+the+2015+Saluki+Invitational+at+SIU+Arena.%C2%A0%28DailyEgyptian.com+file+photo%29
Senior middle hitter Taylor Pippen jumps to hit the ball Sept. 5 during the Salukis' 3-1 loss to Western Kentucky during the 2015 Saluki Invitational at SIU Arena. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

Senior middle hitter Taylor Pippen jumps to hit the ball Sept. 5 during the Salukis' 3-1 loss to Western Kentucky during the 2015 Saluki Invitational at SIU Arena. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

Senior middle hitter Taylor Pippen jumps to hit the ball Sept. 5 during the Salukis' 3-1 loss to Western Kentucky during the 2015 Saluki Invitational at SIU Arena. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

By Athena Chrysanthou

Missouri Valley Conference coaches pegged Saluki volleyball to finish third in the annual preseason poll

SIU ended up with 82 points and also earned a first-place vote in the 10-person poll for the third year in a row. The poll is based upon coaches’ expectations for their teams and players during the coming season

A star player took home an individual honor as well.

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Junior outside hitter Andrea Estrada was named to the six-player 2016 MVC Preseason All-Conference team. Last year, she earned MVC First Team honors, tallying 431 kills and 379 digs last season.

Sophomore Andrea Estrada poses Sept. 7 for a portrait. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

Junior Andrea Estrada poses Sept. 7 for a portrait. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

Wichita State was voted to finish first with 97 points, receiving seven first-place votes shortly behind No. 2 Missouri State with 85 points and one first-place vote.

SIU Coach Justin Ingram, the 2015 MVC Coach of the Year, will enter the season with the highest preseason ranking his team has earned since he took over the program after the 2011 season.

Northern Iowa took the final first-place vote in the poll, finishing fourth with 72 points.

MORE: Want to meet the SIU volleyball team? You can Tuesday at Saluki Fan Fest

SIU will be tested throughout the conference, as four teams made the NCAA tournament last season, including the Salukis’ first-ever run, which ended with a first-round defeat to Illinois.

The Dawgs will return all but two players — graduated All-MVC senior middle hitter Taylor Pippen and transferring freshman libero Tara Routliffe — from last season.

SIU will open its season at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 26 against Central Michigan at the IUPUI Invitational in Indianapolis.

Athena Chrysanthou can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @Chrysant1Athena.

To stay up to date with all your SIU news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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